Giedo Van der Garde has finally been confirmed as the second Caterham driver for 2013, alongside Charles Pic.
Last year van der Garde took part in six FP1 sessions for Caterham in China, Japan, Korea, India, Abu Dhabi and Brazil, and the Dutchman has been the favourite to land the seat all winter.
He has been on the fringes of F1 since 2007, when tested for Super Aguri (briefly) and more extensively for Spyker. He also drove for Force India and Renault in 2008.
“I know I am ready to take the step up to F1,” he said, “and all the work I have done throughout my career, and particularly in the last year with this team, has brought me to my ultimate goal.
“Throughout 2012 I was able to fully integrate myself into the team, both through the FP1 sessions I ran at a number of tracks that were then new to me, and as Reserve Driver, fully embedded with the team throughout the season.
“Now I can continue to learn at the highest level of motorsport and show that I am ready for F1. I cannot wait to start work.”
The 27-year-old has spent the last four seasons in GP2, and has scored five wins, including two for Caterham Racing last year.
He was once a member of the Renault Driver Development squad, alongside Heikki Kovalainen, Jerome D’Ambrosio, and Lucas di Grassi.
Cyril Abiteboul of Caterham said: “He acquitted himself extremely well in both his GP2 season and his six FP1 sessions, progressively improving his outright pace, technical feedback and his relationship with his engineers and mechanics, giving us the clear justification for promoting him to F1.
“This is the next natural step for Giedo with our team. We continue to grow as a team and we are committed to giving young talent across the motorsport industry the chance to grow with us and this is Giedo’s opportunity to show he deserves his place at the very highest level of global motorsport.
“He and Charles have been team-mates before so he is an excellent choice to partner Charles in what is going to be another very iinteresting season, and we are all looking forward to seeing Giedo continue to progress as he takes on the ultimate challenge of F1.”