- Fernando Alonso
- Valtteri Bottas
- Jenson Button
- Marcus Ericsson
- Romain Grosjean
- Esteban Gutiérrez
- Lewis Hamilton
- Nico Hülkenberg
- Daniil Kvyat
- Kevin Magnussen
- Felipe Massa
- Felipe Nasr
- Jolyon Palmer
- Sergio Perez
- Kimi Räikkönen
- Daniel Ricciardo
- Nico Rosberg
- Carlos Sainz Jr
- Max Verstappen
- Sebastian Vettel
- Pascal Wehrlein
|First race||Australian Grand Prix||Albert Park||March 17, 2013||Race results|
|Last race||Brazilian Grand Prix||Interlagos||November 24, 2013||Race results|
Having won the 1998 Dutch karting championship and then the 2002 Super A title, van der Garde moved up to Formula Renault in 2003 and impressed in his debut season. After finishing sixth in the championship he was signed up to the Renault Driver Development programme and progressed to Formula Three the following year. During two consecutive ninth-placed finishes in the standings he was dropped by Renault, but appeared to have landed an ideal drive at ASM alongside Sebastian Vettel and Paul di Resta in 2006.
The team had dominated with Lewis Hamilton and Adrian Sutil the previous season, but van der Garde could not match his team-mates over the year, finishing sixth while di Resta won the title from Vettel. McLaren still signed him up to its Young Driver Programme, and at the end of the year he was announced as the Super Aguri test driver for 2007. However, before testing for Super Aguri he was named as a Spyker reserve driver, leading to a contract dispute that eventually saw him join the Dutch team.
Backed by the McGregor fashion group, van der Garde combined test duties with Formula Renault 3.5, and after being comfortably beaten Vettel in 2007 (who only competed in less than half the races) he stepped up to win the 2008 championship with two races remaining. Moving in to GP2 in 2009 with iSport, van der Garde showed real promise as he won three races towards the end of his debut season. A switch to Barwa Addax in 2010 halted that momentum somewhat, but after two winless years he was named as Caterham's full-time reserve driver for the 2012 season. It's a role he will combine with racing for the team's GP2 outfit to help him stay race sharp.
For 2013 he was promoted to a Caterham race drive, seeing off stiff competition from incumbents Heikki Kovalainen and Vitlay Petrov as well as outsiders such as Bruno Senna. However, the Caterham deal only lasted one year and for 2014 he had to settle for a reserve drive with Sauber.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Experience in junior categories is one thing van der Garde is not lacking, but hanging around in GP2 for four years without a real sniff at the title is not healthy for any driver. At 27 years of age ahead of his debut season in F1, he will have to quickly prove his worth to remain in the sport.
Winning the Formula Renault 3.5 title in 2008 ahead of the likes of Charles Pic.
Being outshone by team-mate Sergio Perez during the 2010 GP2 championship and then missing out on a race seat at Virgin that he believed he could secure.
"The best quote I've ever heard is a Dutch one and the translation is roughly this: 'if you can't share, you can't square.' To double up? Does that make sense?"
"On my iPod at the moment I have only house music and loads of new stuff."
Van der Garde's helmet features black and white comic strips inspired by the comic books his father used to buy him when he was a kid.