Kamui Kobayashi, Caterham, Sochi Autodrom, 2014

Kobayashi will return with Caterham in Abu Dhabi

2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Kamui Kobayashi, Caterham, Sochi Autodrom, 2014Caterham has confirmed Kamui Kobayashi as one of the two drivers who will race for them on their return to Formula One for next weekend’s season finale.

Kobayashi had driven all bar one of the races the team had participated in this season before they went into administration following the Russian Grand Prix.

“It hasn’t been an easy last few weeks so it will be nice to be back to in the car and work together with the Caterham F1 team members,” said Kobayashi.

“I would like to thank the fans for supporting the team like they have. This team is working hard and never gives up. We deserve to be racing in Abu Dhabi and I am very glad we can race again thanks to the crowdfunding project.

“Now it is our turn to show what we can do – we will all try our best during the weekend ahead and hopefully we can end the season with a positive result for the future of this team.”

The identity of Kobayashi’s team mate is yet to be confirmed, however Marcus Ericsson announced last week he had severed his ties with the team.

Among the others to have driven for Caterham recently are Andre Lotterer, who drove in Kobayashi’s place in Belgium, and Roberto Merhi, who made three appearances for the team during practice this year.

Finbarr O’Connell of the team’s administrators Smith and Williamson said “the team commented that Kamui is a highly talented racing driver and he should be in a race car – that’s where he belongs.”

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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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16 comments on “Kobayashi will return with Caterham in Abu Dhabi”

  1. So no Powell or no Barrichello, why have caterham confirmed three drivers? Is it a bid to get more of us to crowd fund or is that too cynical?

    1. They’re trying to find a driver before Sauber’s signed them and added them to their 18-driver lineup for next year.

    2. Its all about being allowed only a max of 4 drivers per season, so when Ericsson cancelled his contract, they had to field either Lotterer or Kobayashi. Lotterer wasn’t interested/couldn’t be convinced, so it ends up with Kobayashi @williamstuart

      Sure enough the second seat will be “sold” to the highest bidder (Palmer, Mehri, Chilton, … who knows) and the drives for the test days in the week after the race are supposidly already sold (thats why the sudden jump in funds raised last week it seems).

  2. Teams used to have a reserve driver for these kind of situations. They still have the reserve, but it seems to be merely a ceremonial role nowadays.

    1. ‘ceremonial role’ made me chuckle.

      They should probably be ‘Chief Simulator Driver’ and be done with being ‘reserve’. Being ‘reserve’ yet never actually ever driving sounds a bit idle, ‘Chief Simulator Driver’ sounds like a lot of long hours.

  3. As per Autosport, Lotterer has already declined the offer to race for Caterham so I’d imagine Merhi will get the other drive.

  4. I’m very glad to this! :)

  5. Only logical solution.
    Driver who has a drive thanks to fans funding will drive a car that is on the grid thanks to fans funding.
    Formula 1… such “beautiful” sport.

  6. And his car may just do two laps and then he is forced to stop.

  7. maarten.f1 (@)
    17th November 2014, 6:56

    I’m wondering who’s going to put the wheels on that car of his…

  8. “the team commented that Kamui is a highly talented racing driver and he should be in a race car – that’s where he belongs.”
    And what about Spa? Did he lost his talent there?

  9. That’ll be a massive relief to Caterham. They had to have Kobayashi in one of their cars. They would have been in breach of the sporting regs otherwise.

    1. They will still have asked him for a “contribution” to actually getting there IMO @mazdachris.

      1. @bascb Who knows. He’d have been holding the cards in that negotiation, but it really depends on where their relationship was at. And of course who it was that approached him – it may be that this is now completely in the hands of the administrators and they have asked him to help out so that they can pay off more of the debts. Whether money will be changing hands in either direction is anyone’s guess.

        1. True enough, yeah. Although he might have had the cards in hand, they had the position to walk away from racing at all.
          My guess is that some bit of money might have been involved, but probably no millions or even hundreds ouf thousands @mazdachris

  10. I’m pleased for him. Not a lot of positives to come out of the whole Caterham thing and Kobayashi seemed to get mucked around by the whole sale thing by Tony Fernandes as anyone. A better driver than quite a few on the grid and deserves better.

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