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GP Week : Issue 190
A valiant drive from Giedo van der Garde should have reaped a greater reward on sunday in singapore. But for an inopportune safety Car, the Dutch racer may have been knocking on the door of the top ten. Qualifying in twentieth behind Caterham teammate Charles Pic, van der Garde once again displayed a cool head and lateral thinking to display superb racecraft, jumping two spots and leading the Williams of Valtteri Bottas by the end of the first lap. By lap thirteen the Dutchman was in fourteenth position and had no right to be staring at the rear of Felipe Massa's gearbox, but he used the opportunity to push for all he was worth, matching the pace of both Williams in the process – the first time since his Monaco duel with Pastor Maldonado. The early pace of his supersofts would come undone when the Williams changed compounds, thwarting van der Garde’s efforts, and he dropped back to eighteenth while Maldonado and Bottas jumped up to eleventh and thirteenth respectively. Once again the Dutchman put his head down, grinding out a superb final stint to finish fifteenth and ahead of Pic. “After a bit of a poor start I was past Charles, Bianchi and Bottas by the end of lap one and was up behind Sutil until the first stop,” van der Garde said after the race. “ T he car was absolutely great on the supersofts - my pace in the first stint was really strong. When the Safety Car came out we boxed for another set of mediums and my pace was good again. I was right up with Bottas and then passed him again when he went off a couple of laps into the stint. As the fuel levels dropped he got past me again so we focused on catching Charles.” Tony Fernandes might have already determined the identity of one of his two drivers in 2014, but the racecraft van der Garde has consistently displayed this season should make the Dutch racer a strong contender for a contract extension if he hasn’t been issued with one already. Giedo takes the fight to Williams 37 GPWEEK.com // 37 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> SINGAPORE