Giedo van der Garde has admitted that the handling characteristics of the Caterham have made the opening races of his F1 career difficult.

Throughout winter testing, commentators observed that the team's 2013 challenger, the CT03, suffered from a lack of balance that stemmed from a strong front end but weak rear.

Speaking in the team's event preview for this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix, van der Garde admitted that this has lead to increased tyre wear which in turn, has not provided him with the chance to perform at his maximum.

"I didn't have the car behaving exactly as I'd like in either Australia or Malaysia so I want to get that right in China," he commented.

"We had oversteer issues on entry into the corners in Malaysia and Australia and that definitely hit my race pace, particularly as it was impacting on [tyre] degradation levels."

However, he said that during the three week break between Malaysia and China, the team has worked closely with Pirelli to resolve the tyre wear issues and is keeping an open mind ahead of this weekend's race.

"We've done a bit of work on that [tyre degradation] with Pirelli in Milan and back at Leafield since Malaysia so we'll see what we've achieved when we get to Shanghai," he concluded.

Van der Garde lies 19th in the driver's standings.

By George East