Kobayashi set for F1 return with Caterham

Kamui Kobayashi is set to return to F1 with Caterham after emerging as the most qualified candidate for the seat.

With rookie Marcus Ericsson likely to be in the other car the team has been keen to employ an experienced driver.

At the same time Tony Fernandes and his fellow shareholders are still reluctant to keep pumping money into the team, and thus the ideal candidate would have experience and a budget.

Heikki Kovalainen has been in the frame for months, and until recently was under contract to the team, but as is well known he does not have any sponsorship. The same applies to Paul di Resta, the only other experienced driver who competed in 2013 and is without a drive.

Although he last raced in F1 in 2012 Kobayashi is eminently qualified – having compared well with Sergio Perez at Sauber – and more importantly unlike Kovalainen, he has significant sponsorship. Sources told this blog that he has a budget of €6m.

If confirmed Kobayashi’s return will be well received by both Bernie Ecclestone and Honda, owners of Suzuka, as it will be a major boost for the Japanese GP.

14 Comments

Filed under F1 News, Grand Prix News

14 responses to “Kobayashi set for F1 return with Caterham

  1. Andrew keane

    Great news. A more exciting choice than Kovalainen. Hopefully they can actually produce a half decent car for him

  2. Mike

    This could be very interresting. I’ve missed Kobayashi since he last drove a race in F1. Also Ericsson will be interresting to Watch if he secures a seat. He had alot of bad luck this season in GP2, but is still a very good driver. He has proven that several times in GP2, but the whole season has never worked out for him for various reasons.

  3. RobDin

    What about Guido van der Garde?

  4. Uwe

    Nice to see Kobayashi back in F1. He deserves it.

  5. Glen

    KOBAYASHI! Oh pleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease! While I’d like to see him in a better car, seeing him anywhere on track is better than nowhere. He should inject some excitement into the back end too, hopefully bringing some attention from the TV directors with it.

    I thought he couldn’t bring much/any sponsorship with him though, that was why he lost his seat at Sauber?

    • Kamui spent a significant part of last year looking for sponsorship (some of it from the Japanese public), specifically for an attempt to return to the F1 fold. It appears he has had some success, otherwise he could not be connected this way with Caterham.

      • Glen

        Good news. I have a soft spot for the Japanese racers of all kinds (or rather the ones who are at least half decent) and love to see them on track. They’re almost always exciting and jovial with it.

  6. Charles

    Six million Euros doesn’t buy a lot of cars at the rate that Kobokrashi was throwing them at the fences and the competition while at Sauber. That’s why they let him go. Perhaps in the back he’ll be able to avoid smashing up so many, or Caterham will decide that he wasn’t such a bargain anyway.

    • forzaminardi

      I don’t recall Kobayashi crashing a lot – I think the ‘kamikaze’ stereotype applied to many Japanese drivers is unfair in Kobayashi’s case, which I admit is surprising given his very spectacular driving style.

      • anon

        Kobayashi is actually considerably less error prone than you would think – if you look over his 2012 season, he only had two race ending accidents due to driver error.

        That accident rate is no worse than many other drivers currently in the field now – Ricciardo, for example, crashed out of two races this season and yet Red Bull still believed him to be better than Vergne, a driver who only crashed out of one race.
        Similarly, nobody writes di Resta, a driver with a comparable level of experience, off as crash prone despite the fact that he crashed out three times due to driver error in 2013, whilst Perez was hyped up considerably more than Kobayashi in 2012 (how times have changed) despite the fact that Perez crashed out three times in 2012. Equally, Sutil crashed out three times this season and is not written off as accident prone either.

        All in all, the notion that Kobayashi is horrendously accident prone and dismissed because of that is not true – he is no more accident prone than most other drivers on the grid right now and, to put it bluntly the reason Sauber fired him because they were barely solvent and needed Gutierrez’s cash.
        In fact, Jonathan Noble wrote a rather extensive and well reasoned article saying that McLaren should have hired Kobayashi over Perez for 2013 – and, after this season, perhaps he was right to say so.

  7. Chris

    This is great news, I’m very happy to see Kobayashi back in F1. I hope he can grab his way back into a more competitive car, but beating Marussia will be a nice start.

  8. I read around five articles about confirmation that Kamui Kobayashi will return to the Grid for Caterham. I am so delighted knowing it since I am a big Kamui Fan.

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