Sauber has announced that Giedo van der Garde will join the team as a test and reserve driver for 2014.
The Dutchman, who raced for Caterham in 2013, has been in Formula One since 2006, when he was brought in as a McLaren Young Driver. He has tested for Super Aguri, Spyker and Caterham before being promoted to a race seat last season, after four years in GP2.
The deal with Sauber will see him get out in some Friday practice sessions and several tests for the team throughout 2014.
“I consider this an important step in my career,” van der Garde revealed. “It is my goal to help the team with the development of the new car. But, of course, I am a racing driver, and I want to show the team and everybody else what I am capable of and that I deserve a race seat with the Sauber F1 Team in 2015. After all, my ambition remains unchanged and I am highly motivated to succeed in Formula One, especially in the long term”.
“We are happy to have Giedo van der Garde on board,” Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn said. “He has four years experience in GP2 and he drove one year in Formula One. These are good credentials to work successfully with our team. Many times Giedo has shown his talent as a race driver. At the same time the team would like to support him to further develop his skills. Giedo has the right attitude to take the next step forward.”
Van der Garde, who departs Caterham after two years with the team, thanked his former team for the opportunity. “I am very thankful to Caterham that they gave me a chance to get a taste of Formula One,” he said. “I enjoyed a fantastic season with the team and I have learned a lot. The experience gained will surely help me during the rest of my career.”
“For now, I am really very excited to have signed a contract with the Sauber F1 Team. For every driver it is a dream to work for a well established team such as Sauber. In recent years it has shown impressive results. I am really grateful for this opportunity and I will certainly do my upmost to succeed.”
Sauber have signed Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez for the 2014 season with Sergey Sirotkin as a test driver.