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.”