Will Stevens to make F1 race debut in Abu Dhabi

2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Will Stevens, Caterham, Silverstone test, 2014Will Stevens will start his first Formula One race this weekend in Abu Dhabi.

The 23-year-old, who won two races in Formula Renault 3.5 this year, will partner Kamui Kobayashi at Caterham. The team signed Stevens last week but had to wait until today for his super licence to be confirmed.

Stevens was previously a member of Caterham’s Racing Academy and tested for the team during the last two seasons. Following the change of management at Caterham earlier this year he joined Marussia as their official reserve driver.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be getting this opportunity and am very grateful to everyone involved at Caterham F1 Team for giving it to me,” said Stevens.

“I feel ready for the challenge of my F1 debut and look forward to working as part of the team in a race environment after all the work we’ve done together previously in the tests I’ve completed and back at Leafield in the sim. Hopefully this will be something we will be able to carry through to the 2015 season together.”

Caterham’s head of engineering operations Gianluca Pisanello said: “We know Will very well through his involvement in the Caterham Racing Academy and more importantly he has done a vast amount of time in our simulator, completing around 10,000km, which has built his experience both of this year’s car and with the engineering team that are going to Abu Dhabi.”

“In addition, his 2014 test at Silverstone in our current car, where he completed over 500km, was very successful and his race pace was very good. As a result, he was one of our best candidates for this race weekend and we are delighted to have secured his services for our return to the F1 grid.

Stevens’ most recent race victory came in the penultimate round of the Formula Renault 3.5 championship at Jerez. He ended the season sixth in the standings with Strakka Racing:

2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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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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    18 comments on “Will Stevens to make F1 race debut in Abu Dhabi”

    1. Well, well.

      Good luck getting on the grid, off the grid and then more than halfway through the race for your money Will.

      1. My thoughts exactly, I’m imagining this drive to be about as successful as Lotterer’s attempt.

        Otherwise, I think it’ll be an achievement if Caterham finishes the race at all. All the news makes it sound like they barely have enough money to fuel the cars, let alone put them together and even run a skeleton crew.

    2. Anything more than a (double) last place would be an achievement, I guess.
      Maybe he should try and match Markus Winkelhock’s record by leading the race.

      1. only I doubt rain will come to help him much here @bullfrog :-)

    3. @keithcollantine I think a ‘with/at Caterham’ is missing from the headline. The article refers to a ‘team’ without first specifying which team it is.

      (We all know, but still.)

    4. I would have liked to see Merhi in the car, but it’s going to be a pretty pointless exercise for the team.

    5. Worried about him for the race.. do not mess with the Mercs!

      1. He’ll be fine. He has been racing for three years in a high-profile series and he isn’t exactly crash-prone. He’s not mega fast, but I don’t think he’ll interfere negatively in the title battle.

        1. Yep. He’s not a future champion but he’s good enough to do a decent job in a grand prix.

          1. So he’s essentially Chilton?

            1. @austus It seems he was more successful in karts than cars, where he’s looked more like a Chilton. Make of that what we will..

              An image search brings up support from Brawn in 2009 (like Ericsson!) and articles like “Is Will Stevens the next Lewis Hamilton?” @enigma @mattds

              @dam00r He looked more like Nico Rosberg a few years ago, but I’m sure he wouldn’t take out Lewis….

    6. It’s not too bad of a choice from Caterham. Actually Sauber should be more ashamed with Adderly Fong in FP1.
      I rate Stevens to be at the same of Ericsson, but without the experience, so nothing too dramatic, positive / negative wise, to be expected from him.

    7. Wonder which driver will get the good front wing. If Stevens outqualifies Kamui then we’ll know what the money bought!

      1. Do caterham have even any good wings?

        1. @socksolid Just one I think, and it was on Ericsson’s car since the new managers came in.. @juan-fanger

          1. Maybe they should take some red bull. I hear it gives you wings !

    8. So I think the consensus is that Stevens will do a solid job, not brilliant, but also not an idiot

    9. That,s good. He can be a regular driver if Caterham manages to race next year

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