Caterham’s Giedo van der Garde has conceded that his first few races in Formula One were something of a struggle, but the Dutchman is happy to have found his feet to now find himself competing at the front of the backmarkers’ battles.
Marussia and Caterham may not be fighting for points, but the battle for P10 in the constructors’ championship looks set to be one of the few results not to have been decided heading into the final round of the season. Currently, Marussia occupy that position by virtue of Jules Bianchi’s thirteenth-place finish at the Malaysian Grand Prix, but van der Garde is determined to get Caterham back into the top ten.
“Of course for us it’s very important to get the tenth place back,” the Dutchman said on Thursday in India. “I think the last few races we’ve seen that we’ve always been in front in the race compared with Marussia, so the one thing we need is a little luck and the only thing we can do is maximize ourselves, maximize the car, maximize the team and the rest is luck.”
In terms of his own season, van der Garde believes that he has turned a corner in the last few races after a baptism of fire into the sport, but there is still room for improvement.
“At the beginning, I struggled a little bit, then in the middle of the season everything fell into place and since then I’ve had good speed. I still have to improve the qualifying a little bit but race pace has been very good.”
van der Garde’s future is yet to be confirmed, but the Dutchman’s recent performances should be enough to secure him a place on the grid in 2014.