Caterham driver Giedo van der Garde has dismissed rival team Marussia’s pace ahead of the 2013 Formula One season.
During an interview, the Dutch driver revealed he did not see the team as a threat.
“Not really. Marussia has progressed and Jules Bianchi is a fast guy who can adapt to a car in no time, but we have to wait until Melbourne to see where everyone stands.”
van der Garde will make his Formula One debut at the Australian Grand Prix in ten days time, but at 27, he is the oldest rookie. He does bring a wealth of experience to Caterham, but opted to play down his early season chances.
“Don’t expect us to be fighting for the top ten straight away. But I do think we have a lot of potential. We will get a major upgrade in Spain, so from that race we should be able to make some big steps.”
Caterham struggled to impress during pre-season as they were consistently outpaced by Marussia, but they did manage to complete an extensive programme in preparation for 2013. The pressure will be on both van der Garde and Charles Pic to deliver this season, and Caterham will be keen to bridge the gap to the midfield. Since entering the sport in 2010, the team has failed to score any points, but with the grid appearing to be closer than ever, this could be a breakthrough season for Caterham.