Giedo van der Garde has announced in Amsterdam that he will be racing this year with the Caterham Formula 1 team. The 27-year-old Dutchman was test driver for the team last year. He will partner Charles Pic, who was his team-mate in GP2 with the Addax team in 2011. The news means that Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov are unlikely to get seats in F1 this year. This is something of a blow for the sport as it was hoped that Petrov would still be in F1 when the first Russian GP takes place in 2014. Petrov will now have to spend the year looking for sponsorship to return in 2014, if indeed he decides to take that path.
The have been around a dozen Dutchman who have raced in the World Championship since it nbegan in 1950. The first was Jan Flinterman, who took part in the 1952 Dutch Grand Prix. The last Dutchman in F1 was Christijan Albers, who drove for Minardi, Midland and Spyker between 2005 and 2007, taking part in 46 races. Robert Doornbos raced for Minardi and Red Bull in 2005 and 2006 while Jos Verstappen completed more than 100 Grands Prix with Benetton, Simtek, Footwork, Tyrrell, Stewart, Arrows and Minardi between 1994 and 2003.
There are a number of Dutch rising stars tipped for future stardom, including Sauber reserve driver Robin Frijns, plus McLaren protege Nyck de Vries and karting star Max Verstappen (son of Jos).