A rather changing opinion on Giedo Van Der Garde

20 Sep

With Singapore coming up, and the fact I have little in the way of schoolwork (That’s actually a lie), I thought now would be a good time to actually write something constructive (If you’ve wondered where i’ve been, I’ve been busy doing absolutely nothing at all). So here it is:

Giedo Van Der Garde is a complicated person, in the sense that I’m never really sure how he fits into F1. At the start of the season, before he had been confirmed, I was certainly someone who was advocating him for the role of Caterham second driver. He’d done fairly well in GP2 (OK so 7th, 7th, 5th, 6th isn’t the worlds greatest set of results, but he’s consistently up there), he’d been patient in waiting for a role in F1 and he certainly didn’t look like the type of driver that was either going to go kamikaze and barrel roll Christijan Albers, or just get in everyone’s way.

Then came the time where he was actually going to be racing, and things started to go a little bit downhill. I say a little bit, but he really looked a little out of his depth. Compared to his teammate, Charles Pic, he looked the weaker of the two, and the results certainly matched. Up to, and including, the German GP, Giedo was out done by Pic in every single race, barring the ones one/both of them retired in. Infact, he’s only finished ahead of Pic once this season, in Hungary. It got so bad that me and my friend Tom (The person who helped me devise the top 5 worst F1 drivers of the 21st century) predicted that he’d be the first driver to be sacked. Now nobody has been sacked so far, so we could still be right.

Something, however, seemed to change in Hungary. For the first race this season he actually beat his teammate, and he genuinely seems to be improving to the point that he is now starting to beat Pic in Practice and Qualifying sessions, and really giving him a run for his money. He even managed to finish ahead of Pastor Maldonado in Belgium (I don’t care about the circumstances, he still finished ahead). As i’m writing this, he’s just beat Pic in Singapore practice (This may become less relevant depending on when I post this article).

There is a snag to this revival though, and that snag comes in the form of a lovable Finn known as Heikki Kovalainen. During practice in Belgium, Kovalainen, who hasn’t really done much racing this season, managed to outdo Van Der Garde. It wasn’t by much, but he still did it. He wasn’t far from Pic in Italy either.

Rumour is that Kovalainen might be in line for a return to Caterham for 2014, and in all honesty I wouldn’t be surprised to see him replace Van Der Garde.

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