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Van der Garde eager to maintain progress
31 October 2012
Giedo van der Garde says he is keen to maintain the progress he has made so far this season when he appears in Friday practice this weekend in Abu Dhabi.
The Dutch driver has driven for Caterham at a number of events this season and will take over from Vitaly Petrov for the first session at Yas Marina – marking his first appearance in the car on a circuit where he has competed in the past.
Van der Garde has been linked with a possible race seat for the 2013 season and will be eager to impress again when he gets behind the wheel – with further track time to come in the Young Driver Test that will then follow.
“I have to say I'm really enjoying the work I'm doing with the team and it'll be even better in Abu Dhabi,” he said. “In India my times were closer to my team-mate than in any other session I've done and I think I'm really developing a good relationship with the engineers and the whole team.
“It's obviously a bit tricky to really show what you can do when you have just one set of tyres and not much more than about 25 laps, but these sessions aren't about showing how quick I can go, they're about working to the program set by the team and continuing to learn as much as I can about the step up from GP2 to F1.
“After the Abu Dhabi race I'll be staying on for the young driver test, and that'll be another really good step forward in my development – two full days in the car on a track I've already driven on, and with a group of people who I've worked closely with for the last couple of months will give me a great chance to help the team get as much as they can from the test, and give me the opportunity to keep developing without some of the constraints of a race weekend FP1.”
Van der Garde added that his previous knowledge of the circuit would be beneficial when it come to giving the team feedback on the car to help with its preparations for the race.
“Abu Dhabi's the first track I'll be driving on in FP1 at this stage of the season that I've raced on before,” he said. “With the obvious limits we work under in FP1 that's a big advantage as it means I'm not having to learn my way around on my first couple of laps, and as we're usually doing somewhere between 20 to 25 laps in first practice it means I can help the team even more right from the first run.”
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