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Giedo van der Garde says Caterham has made a solid step forward with front-end performance in 2013, having tested the CT03 for the first time at Jerez this week. The Dutchman, who made various free practice outings for the Leafield-based team last season, enjoyed a relatively smooth start to his fully-fledged Formula 1 career.
"On the first morning we focused on checking little things, as you do when you first get a new car," van der Garde explained to GPUpdate.net. "But it all went pretty fast so we could quickly begin working on the set-up and the tyres. There was a small issue with the floor of the car, but that's all part of testing.
"It is still difficult to say how the car compares to 2012. But the front is improved, we have made some steps there. We will see how good it is at the next tests."
Van der Garde was cautious about making any firm predictions ahead of the 2013 campaign, but insists that Caterham is 'highly motivated' to score its first point.
"Remember, this is still a young team," he commented. "We should not assume that we will be in the top ten. Maybe we can achieve something in a mad race with lots of pit-stops or rain, but until then we should just continue to work very hard. This is a highly motivated team and I will do everything to play my part in contributing."
Van der Garde and team-mate Charles Pic, who also raced together during their GP2 days, will be back in action at the second test in Barcelona from 19-22 February.
Giedo van der Garde
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