F1 » 4 December 2012
van der Garde, Razia vying for Caterham seat?
Giedo van der Garde and Luiz Razia continue to consider themselves candidates for the vacant seat at Caterham, despite the team's Brazilian GP result changing the game.
Giedo van der Garde might like to consider himself the favourite to partner Charles Pic in a new-look Caterham line-up next season, but the Dutchman continues to face opposition for the seat.
van der Garde carried out reserve driver duties for Tony Fernandes' team this season, becoming a regular fixture in FP1 towards the end of the campaign. With doubts hanging over both Vitaly Petrov and Heikki Kovalainen returning to the team in 2013, the well-funded Dutchman brings something neither of his current team-mates can, but is being made to wait by Caterham, which received a financial boost after Petrov passed Pic to clinch eleventh place at Interlagos and usurp Marussia from tenth in the constructors' standings.
“We had hoped for clarification last week, but Caterham has moved the decision forwards,” the 27-year old told the Netherlands' Formule 1, “The decision is theirs and we can do nothing but wait and see. If all goes well, we will know in two weeks.”
While both Petrov and Kovalainen remain candidates for the second seat after the Interlagos result, van der Garde may also have to convince Caterham to take him over GP2 Series rival Luiz Razia.
The Brazilian, who drove for Fernandes' GP2 team in 2011, continues to be linked to three of the teams with vacancies and, while he remains hopeful of landing a ride with Force India, would happily accept Caterham or Marussia as a means of finally breaking into the top flight.
"I am negotiating with all three," he told Agencia Estado, "Before, it was all the teams, now only these three. There is still a chance to close a deal with [Force India, but I can't afford to be choosy. I'm still not a F1 driver, just a wannabe, and [in F1] it's not so much about what you deserve, but what you can get. I'd like to have something by early December, so I can relax more for Christmas. Maybe next week we will have something."
With the likes of Kamui Kobayashi, Pedro de la Rosa, Narain Karthikeyan, Bruno Senna all looking for rides after losing their 2012 seats, and Jaime Alguersuari hoping to break back into F1 – not to mention a number of other hopefuls, such as Max Chilton all on the driver market - it is not just Razia who can afford to be choosy, with the teams appearing to hold the 'silly season' power.
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