Van der Garde takes up Sauber test driver role

Giedo van der Garde has followed Charles Pic in leaving the Caterham F1 team this season after Sauber confirmed the Dutchman will take up a test and third driver role with them.

The 28-year-old was in the running to secure a seat at Caterham for 2014 alongside either Kamui Kobayashi or Heikki Kovalainen after the team confirmed that Pic would be leaving.

However, with confirmation of his departure too, it means Caterham will feature an entirely new line-up this year.

Van der Garde will get the chance to drive the C33 in "several practice and test sessions" according to the team as he aims to secure a race seat in 2015.

"I consider this an important step in my career," he said. "It is my goal to help the team with the development of the new car. But, of course, I am a racing driver, and I want to show the team and everybody else what I am capable of and that I deserve a race seat with the Sauber F1 Team in 2015.

"After all, my ambition remains unchanged and I am highly motivated to succeed in Formula One, especially in the long term."

He went on to thank Caterham: "I am very thankful to Caterham that they gave me a chance to get a taste of Formula One. I enjoyed a fantastic season with the team and I have learned a lot. The experience gained will surely help me during the rest of my career."

Team principal Monisha Kaltenborn added: "We are happy to have Giedo van der Garde on board. He has four years experience in GP2 and he drove one year in Formula One. These are good credentials to work successfully with our team. Many times Giedo has shown his talent as a race driver. At the same time the team would like to support him to further develop his skills. Giedo has the right attitude to take the next step forward."