Van der Garde about resuming season: "That's way above racing!"

09-05-2020 11:00
by GPblog.com
Interview
Van der Garde about resuming season: That's way above racing!

Also for Giedo van der Garde things have changed with coronavirus. The former Formula 1 driver was unable to celebrate his birthday last week and will not be able to get into the LMP2 car of Racing Team Nederland for the time being. GPBlog.com asked Van der Garde how he is currently getting through the days and when he thinks he can enter the circuit again. He also praised teammates Nyck de Vries and Frits van Eerd.

"Normally you try to have a party. I was 35 years old and that's a nice age to go and celebrate with your friends, but now it was relatively boring at home", Van der Garde starts talking to GPBlog.com. Nevertheless, he did celebrate it with a select group of modest people. "Some people still came by and we had a beer and something to eat, it was quiet."

There is no question of boredom

Because of the coronavirus, things have changed for Van der Garde. "They're very different days, of course. Life isn't as spectacular as it used to be, but on the other hand you also have time for other things. I spend a lot of time with my son", says the Dutchman, who is happy that his work as an entrepreneur just keeps on going. "The advantage is that I have enough things to occupy myself with. If you only had the racing and nothing else besides, I would get very bored".

Since 2018 Van der Garde is competing for Racing Team Nederland in the World Endurance Championship. When he will be able to get back to work with teammates Nyck de Vries and Frits van Eerd is not quite clear yet. "You hear some rumours here and there of when it will reopen a bit. August might be a possibility, but you also read reports that countries will be locked up longer, including France. Our whole organization is there, so I think it will take some time before I can get back in."

Safety priority number one

For now, the 6 hours of Spa-Francorchamps is the next race. Originally it was supposed to have been held last weekend, but the WEC website now has the 15th of August as a reference date. The 24 Hours of Le Mans should then take place in the third week of September. "Quite honestly you want to race again as soon as possible, but it all has to be possible and safe", Van der Garde is sober. "People shouldn't get sick of it, so I think it should only be possible when fewer people die. That's way above the whole racing thing."

Despite the fact that the calendar will be turned upside down, the intention is that the line-up will remain intact for the remaining part of the 2019/2020 season. "Anyway. The season went on. Our last race will now be in November in Bahrain. Basically, we're going to finish with the trio we started with."

Since this season, De Vries also makes his appearance in Formula E. As Formula 2 champion, the 25-year old driver from Sneek signed a contract with the Mercedes factory team, where he is seated next to Stoffel Vandoorne. Van der Garde closely follows the actions of his team mate. "Yes, of course I followed him. You know each other well. Nyck is just a very good driver."

Great trio at Racing Team Netherlands

This is also reflected in the results of Racing Team Netherlands. At Silverstone, for example, a podium place was taken and the team crossed the line first at Fuji. "With Frits as well, that's going really fantastic. We have had a great year with good results. That's what it's all about and if you can get along well next to the track, that's only a plus".

Back to De Vries in Formula E, because switching from formula cars to electric cars is a very difficult step. Moreover, there is fierce competition with big names like Formula 1 drivers Felipe Massa, Brendon Hartley and Pascal Wehrlein. However, they are not the ones who get away with the victories. They are drivers who have been in Formula E for much longer, such as Antonio Felix da Costa, Maximilian Günther, Sebastien Buemi and Lucas di Grassi. It proves how difficult it is to be competitive right away.

"Nyck just takes it well. He's in good shape every time in qualifying and in the races he lacks a bit of experience compared to all the top riders there. But even there you could see that he was constantly performing better and better. That's nice to see and you just see that he is a good driver and a hard worker. He knows exactly how he is doing", Van der Garde concludes with praise.

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