Sauber has announced the appointment of former Caterham driver Giedo van der Garde as its test and reserve driver
The 27-year-old Dutchman had his first taste of Formula One in 2007 testing for Spyker, then again in 2008 with Force India and Caterham in 2012, progressing to a full race seat with the Anglo-Malaysian outfit in 2013.
Prior to his debut F1 season, the 2008 Formula Renault 3.5 Series champion spent four years in GP2, his best result seeing him finish 5th overall with Barwa Addax Team in 2011.
Now he is to join Sauber with whom he will contest "some Friday sessions" and "several tests" over the course of the 2014 season.
"We are happy to have Giedo van der Garde on board," said Monisha Kaltenborn. "He has four years experience in GP2 and he drove one year in Formula One. These are good credentials to work successfully with our team. Many times Giedo has shown his talent as a race driver. At the same time the team would like to support him to further develop his skills. Giedo has the right attitude to take the next step forward."
"I consider this an important step in my career," said Van der Garde, who joins Russian youngster Sergey Sirotkin on the Swiss outfit's subs bench. It is my goal to help the team with the development of the new car. But, of course, I am a racing driver, and I want to show the team and everybody else what I am capable of and that I deserve a race seat with the Sauber F1 Team in 2015. After all, my ambition remains unchanged and I am highly motivated to succeed in Formula One, especially in the long term."
"I am very thankful to Caterham that they gave me a chance to get a taste of Formula One. I enjoyed a fantastic season with the team and I have learned a lot. The experience gained will surely help me during the rest of my career."
"For now, I am really very excited to have signed a contract with Sauber. For every driver it is a dream to work for a well established team such as Sauber. In recent years it has shown impressive results. I am really grateful for this opportunity and I will certainly do my upmost to succeed."
The announcement appears to clear the way for Caterham to confirm its line-up, widely thought to be Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson.