Caterham still finalising second driver deal, says O’Connell

Caterham has yet to confirm who will drive its second car alongside Kamui Kobayashi in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

The late revival of Marussia has seemingly caused leading candidate Max Chilton to drop out of the running.

“It should clearly be decided very soon,” administrator Finbarr O’Connell told this writer. “I’m just waiting so that I can announce what’s going to happen.”

O’Connell admitted that Marussia’s late decision to go to Abu Dhabi had taken Chilton off the market.

“I had heard rumours that he was interested in the seat if Marussia weren’t running. I wish him well in Marussia if they are. He’s under contract and clearly he would never do anything against his contract.

“He can only race one car in one team. I’m told this is possibly the latest arrival ever if Marussia come tomorrow.”

Roberto Merhi, who ran three FP1 sessions this year, signed a contract with the previous management which stipulates that he would drive Marcus Ericsson’s car if it became available.

However, while the Spaniard was given a ‘provisional’ superlicence to run in FP1s, it seems that he still doesn’t have a full one: “My understanding is that he doesn’t have a superlicence.”

Regarding the prospects of the team getting a superlicence for another rookie – such as Will Stevens, who had hoped to run FP1 earlier this season – he said: “We’ll have to wait and see. I’ve said to them all that I won’t mention their names as it won’t be fair.”

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