Giedo van der Garde is set to return to the track with Caterham during the forthcoming Barcelona tests, reigniting speculation about Jarno Trulli’s future with the former Lotus team.
After the sponsor-backed Dutch GP2 driver was signed on as 2012 reserve driver, he was also drafted into the Jerez test lineup at short notice, bumping Italian veteran Trulli from Thursday’s running. France’s Auto Hebdo quotes the 26-year-old as revealing he expects to return to the wheel soon.
“It was not easy for me to fully exploit the new tyres and brakes, but it will be better at the next test,” van der Garde explained. “The team is happy with my performance. I hope to do another test before the season starts.”
Also reportedly in the running at Caterham is the Renault refugee and Russian-backed Vitaly Petrov, with Sport Bild claiming Trulli’s 2012 place is “probably not safe”.
“For now I’m safe,” Trulli was quoted on Monday by the Italian website Stop and Go.
Also perhaps feeling nervous at present is Marussia’s new signing Charles Pic, who according to Dutch website f1today.nl is grappling with “sponsorship and payment problems”. The former Virgin team denied the reports.
“I want to prove to everyone that I have the talent to succeed in F1,” he is quoted by French language RMC Sport. “Timo (Glock) has a lot of experience and has been on the podium — my goal is to learn from him and try to beat him as soon as possible.”