Tag Archives: Kamui

Kobayashi back in the Caterham – but will he do Suzuka?

Kamui Kobayashi will return to Caterham duty in Monza this weekend as the team continues to juggle its driving options.

Roberto Merhi, whose involvement was predicted here two weeks ago, will drive the car in FP1, with a view to racing it somewhere down the line.

It remains to be seen whether Kobayashi will be in the car for his home race at Suzuka, which means a nervous wait for both fans and the race promoter, given that tens of thousands of tickets were sold on the basis that he would be there.

Kobayashi said: “I am working for Caterham F1 Team and I always respect team decisions. Now I am back in the car and looking forward to going racing again! We have worked hard as a team and added performance to the car as well as bringing new updates since I last drove in Hungary before the summer break, so I’m looking forward to feeling the updates on track here in Monza.”

Former Euro F2 champion Merhi commented: I’ve been working very closely with the team during the last few weeks and I feel ready for this opportunity; Friday is going to be a very special day for me and one I will never forget. Monza is also one of my favourite tracks – I ended up on the podium there earlier this year during my first race of the season in the Formula Renault 3.5 championship, so it’s a circuit that will bring back very good memories.

“What a year it’s been so far: last Christmas I didn’t really know if I was going to carry on racing and now I’m about to drive a Formula 1 car! I’m definitely going to make the most out of this weekend in Italy.”

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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.


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