Van der Garde 'making huge strides'

Autosport

Giedo van der Garde believes he is making huge progress in his Friday practice appearances with Caterham, as he continues to try and break into Formula 1.

Caterham confirmed on Tuesday that van der Garde would drive in the opening session again in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

It will be his fourth consecutive Friday outing in a row, and his fifth of the 2012 season after also getting a chance in China. Van der Garde will then stay on for the post-race young driver test.

"I have to say I'm really enjoying the work I'm doing with the team and it'll be even better in Abu Dhabi," said the 27-year-old Dutchman.

"In India my times were closer to my team-mate than in any other session I've done and I think I'm really developing a good relationship with the engineers and the whole team.

"It's obviously a bit tricky to really show what you can do when you have just one set of tyres and not much more than about 25 laps, but these sessions aren't about showing how quick I can go, they're about working to the programme set by the team and continuing to learn as much as I can about the step up from GP2 to F1.

"After the Abu Dhabi race I'll be staying on for the young driver test, and that'll be another really good step forward in my development.

"Two full days in the car on a track I've already driven on, and with a group of people who I've worked closely with for the last couple of months will give me a great chance to help the team get as much as they can from the test, and give me the opportunity to keep developing without some of the constraints of a race weekend FP1."

Van der Garde drove for Caterham's GP2 arm this season, taking two wins and finishing sixth in the standings.

He is among the contenders for a 2013 F1 seat with the team.

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