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Tough debut for Van der Garde

NEWS STORY
22/03/2013

Mat Coch writes:

Giedo van der Garde was lucky to reach the end of his debut Grand Prix after suffering damage during the early part of the race.

It was a learning experience for the Dutchman, who admitted he was almost caught out at the start. "Normally you wait, look in the mirror, see the last ones are coming, then select first gear and there you go," he laughed. "Here it was like neutral, oh shit the lights (have gone) on!"

The Caterham driver was then tagged by fellow rookie Max Chilton, thereby damaging both cars. Chilton was forced to pit for a new front wing, though he escaped comparatively lightly in contrast to Van der Garde.

"It broke my rear diffuser quite badly," he explained. "The piece dropped off completely on lap 20."

With the diffuser effectively gone, tyre wear went through the roof, allowing a recovering Chilton to catch and finally pass the Caterham with ten laps to go. However, even without the damage it's possible Chilton would have caught the Dutchman, Marussia seemingly enjoying an early season advantage over its rivals.

Van der Garde however is taking positives away from his debut, while looking forward to the Spanish Grand Prix when an update package is expected.

"We're looking forward to that," he said. "We still have two races (after Malaysia) like this, which won't be easy for us. But for me it's good to learn as much as possible and from Barcelona look to make a good step."

"The team is quite confident about what is coming," he added. "I've heard good stories about it."

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