Kamui Kobayashi, Caterham, Shanghai International Circuit, 2014

Caterham confirm Kobayashi will drive at home

2014 Japanese Grand Prix

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Kamui Kobayashi, Caterham, Shanghai International Circuit, 2014Kamui Kobayashi will compete in his home grand prix at Suzuka this weekend, Caterham have confirmed.

The team will give another practice run to Spanish driver Roberto Merhi, who previously appeared for the team at Monza.

Kobayashi, who took the only podium finish of his F1 career to date in his late appearance at home in 2012, said “I’ve been waiting for this race for over a year”.

“The Japanese Grand Prix and Suzuka have always been very special for me: it’s where I experienced my first F1 free practice sessions back in 2009 and where I also achieved my first ever Formula One podium finish in 2012 and, this year, I am able to come back to Suzuka thanks to the support I received from my fans.

“This means a lot to me and I would like to thank them all once again. I only have positive feelings going into this weekend.

“Unfortunately, this year I have to admit that I won’t be fighting for a podium, but I will do my best to reward my fans with a strong performance in order to thank them for their enormous support – I look forward to meeting them all there.”

Kobayashi missed the Belgian round of the championship when Caterham replaced him with Andre Lotterer.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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17 comments on “Caterham confirm Kobayashi will drive at home”

  1. Caterham may have made some dumb business decisions, but Ravetti & Co. aren’t completely void of braincells. I didn’t think Kobayashi would sit out the Japanese GP.

    1. I am almost certain the wait was to give him a chance to get some Japanese sponsors to cough up extra sponsor money for the race though @rjoconnell

  2. Formula-I (@)
    1st October 2014, 7:23

    Still hoping Kobayashi-Merhi …..

    1. I wouldn’t count on it. I’ve heard that Caterham are offering Ericsson the 2015 drive and a deal is being done.

      1. Well maybe it wont happen but hoping are always allowed :D

  3. “The team will give another practice run to Spanish driver Roberto Merhi, who previously appeared for the tea at Monza.”

    They may not have good race prospects, but those Caterham boys sure know how to make a nice cuppa.

  4. So soon? It’s only Wednesday!

  5. To me it sounds pathetic!
    Confirming your official driver that will drive in the folowing GP??!!
    BTW I’m happy for Kobayashi,he deserves a better drive next year but I don’t see it happening..

  6. I still think that Caterham would deliver better results with Frijns and Merhi behind the wheel…

    1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      1st October 2014, 14:36

      @craig-o – I don’t think you have to be Ross Brawn to come to that conclusion…

      1. That is true. Caterham need a new business plan, Get a young talent, and build a car that works, when that is done the results will come and so will the pace.

    2. I doubt either of them would beat Kob, but if they did they would still be last.

    3. @craig-o Think? Based on what do you think those two, one a complete rookie who would have to come in the middle of the season to boot; the other who haven’t sat in any car for I forgot how many months, would provide better results than Kobayashi? irrespective of what @william-brierty meant to say with it Ross Brawn you are not

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        2nd October 2014, 14:02

        @montreal95 – Please don’t mistake KK for a front-running superstar, when in 2012 he was comprehensively out-driven by Perez. Frijns on the other-hand has a junior career worthy of a F1 champion, and Merhi’s, aside from his woeful sabbatical in the DTM, also has an impressive record. Whilst it is doubtful that either would be on Kamui’s pace immediately, the quality of both has been proven, especially rookie FR3.5 champion Frijns, and as 2010 GP2 runner-up Perez was soon on Kamui’s pace in 2011, so would Frijns and Merhi. If you cannot put faith in young talent and instead cling blindly to the sporadic, if impressive, flashes of speed and confidence Kamui has shown, then it is you sir that is no Ross Brawn.

        1. @william-brierty Comprehensively out-driven by Perez in 2012? Wrong and selective stats analysis there. Perez got lucky a few times by getting comprehensively beaten by KK in qualy so lucking into the best strategy.

          Frijns was only a rookie champion of FR 3.5 by cheating against Bianchi. Roberto Merhi’s junior career was impressive, true, as was Frijns but saying that they’re proven is nonsense. There were many drivers with impressive junior careers who were not proven anything near top end in F1. That in itself is no guarantee of anything. You say Perez was straight on Kamui’s pace in 2011? Well KK himself was straight on Trulli’s pace in 2009 coming in late season. That again, is not proof of anything

          Saying that Kamui’s “flashes of speed and confidence” are sporadic is your own opinion and is not supported by facts. KK was much more consistent than Perez when they were team-mates. In fact your words would be exactly how I’d describe Perez not KK. I’d argue that Kamui has been impressive since the moment he came in as Glock substitute and up to now. I am not Brawn but neither are you sir

          and anyway this ultimate potential debate is beside the point. The argument we’re both replying to was that Merhi and Frijns would get better results in the 2014 Caterham not their ultimate potential. You’ve, rather arrogantly I might point out, implied that’s an easy argument to prove and that’s not nearly the case. I say there’s no way in hell it’s a reasonable argument supported by facts. But what do I know. Peter Sauber on the other hand, knows a lot about choosing young drivers and he believed in KK, and wasn’t disappointed. KK was dropped from Sauber not because of results but because of Guttierrez’ cash. So between Peter Sauber and yourself I choose Herr Sauber’s opinion any day of the year

          1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            3rd October 2014, 23:49

            @montreal95 – Please don’t think your blatantly perceivable anger makes your argument anymore likely to be credible, or that some pretentious moral and academic highground you aimed to achieve by chucking throwaways like “arrogant” my way adds anything to the debate. As it stands that fact content of your post was decidedly thin; the facts are these…

            1) Kobayashi has a tendency to throw good results away through errors – Japan ’11, China ’12, Europe ’12, Britain ’12 – whilst it was perhaps inaccurate to say Perez outpaced KK, he certainly outdrove him

            2) KK tested extensively before his debut through his connection with Toyota, his ability to hit the ground running was foreseeable

            3) Robin Frijns has a remarkable junior record, comparable with that of Vandoorne, Hulkenberg and Hamilton – the fact that he won the FR3.5 title with a dirty move is actually quite trivial, especially since the victim already had two full seasons of GP2 and extensive FR3.5 testing prior to 2012 and with Robin having dominated in both FR2.0 and Formula BMW Europe prior to that

            4) Frijns raced in more relevant machinery than KK in 2013, so considering that and Robin’s record, had Fernandes chosen Robin for KK’s seat this season I think it is likely that had he Frijns would be extracting more from the Caterham than KK is now

            5) Merhi has proven a fantastically adaptive driver in the past twelve months, going from off the pace in DTM to major struggles in preseason FR3.5 testing to title contention at Jerez and impressive FP1 displays for Caterham. He’s in Frijn’s ballpark, and therein a formidable talent

            In a year where we have seen a driver in his third full season comprehensively beat a quadruple world champion and a nineteen year old Russian with no FR3.5 or GP2 experience become the sport’s youngest points scorer, you should perhaps put a bit more faith in the speed and quality of young drivers.

  7. I’m very glad to this.

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