Giedo van der Garde sees promise in Caterham’s Spa weekend
- Credit: Archant
Caterham's start to the second half of the Formula One season may have been relatively unspectacular, but Giedo van der Garde believes the signs are good for the future.
The Belgium Grand Prix weekend was highlighted by the Dutchman's astute call in qualifying that helped the Hingham-backed team into the second session.
And while he could only manage a 16th-placed finish on the Sunday – team-mate Charles Pic retired early in the race – that was ahead of Pastor Maldonado's Williams and enough for Van der Garde to feel positive about the remaining eight races.
'Overall this has been a really good weekend,' said the F1 rookie. 'It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if it had rained, but for what was effectively my first home F1 race I think we got the maximum for the car.
'Saturday was an incredible feeling and I'm really pleased we could give the team, our partners and the fans such a lift in quali. Now we have to make sure we can do the same for the rest of the season whenever the chances come our way.'
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Pic added: 'By lap eight I was catching my team-mate but then I was told to box as we had an oil leak, so we stopped the car to avoid any damage to the new engine we used.
'Racing's sometimes like this. We had good pace on Friday and Saturday, the car felt well balanced and we'd made some progress. While the race obviously didn't go to plan I'm not down about it. We have another chance in Monza in two weeks to continue to build on the gap to our nearest rivals and I'm sure we'll bounce back there.'
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As in Spa, former driver Heikki Kovalainen will take Van der Garde's seat for the opening free practice session in Italy.