Caterham confirmed on Friday that reserve driver Giedo van der Garde has been promoted to a race seat for the 2013 season.
Van der Garde will be team mate to Charles Pic, who joined Caterham from Marussia over the winter.
Van der Garde spent 2012 competing with Caterham Racing in the GP2 Series, combining his GP2 season, in which he scored six podiums and two race wins, with six Friday practice outings for Caterham’s F1 team.
“I know I am ready to take the step up to F1 and all the work I have done throughout my career, and particularly in the last year with this team, has brought me to my ultimate goal,” said the Dutchman. “Throughout 2012 I was able to fully integrate myself into the team, both through the FP1 sessions I ran at a number of tracks that were then new to me, and as reserve driver, fully embedded with the team throughout the season.
“Now I can continue to learn at the highest level of motorsport and show that I am ready for F1. I cannot wait to start work.”
“Everyone in the team is delighted that we can finally confirm that Giedo will be racing for us in the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship,” said Cyril Abiteboul, Caterham team principal. “He has been part of our family since early 2012 when he joined our GP2 team and was appointed as reserve driver for the F1 team. He acquitted himself extremely well in both his GP2 season and his six FP1 sessions, progressively improving his outright pace, technical feedback and his relationship with his engineers and mechanics, giving us the clear justification for promoting him to F1.
“This is the next natural step for Giedo with our team. We continue to grow as a team and we are committed to giving young talent across the motorsport industry the chance to grow with us and this is Giedo’s opportunity to show he deserves his place at the very highest level of global motorsport. He and Charles have been team-mates before so he is an excellent choice to partner Charles in what is going to be another very interesting season, and we are all looking forward to seeing Giedo continue to progress as he takes on the ultimate challenge of F1.”
Van der Garde’s appointment means Caterham will join Sauber and Marussia in starting the new season with an all-new driver line-up, having fielded Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov in 2012.