Andre Lotterer linked to Caterham F1 drive for Belgian GP
|By Jonathan Noble||Monday, August 18th 2014, 17:43 GMT|
Three-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Andre Lotterer could make a surprise Formula 1 debut with Caterham at this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix.
AUTOSPORT understands that the 32-year-old German, who has most recently enjoyed success as an Audi factory LMP1 driver and in the Japanese Super Formula championship, is in contention to secure a drive for the Leafield-based team at Spa-Francorchamps.
Caterham is undergoing a restructure under new owners, and the outfit made it clear in recent weeks that it was open to the possibility of changing its driver line-up.
It is also eager to shake things up in its bid to secure 10th place in the constructors' championship, with the team due to deliver a major upgrade package to its car this weekend.
One option being considered is for Lotterer to be brought in to create a fresh dynamic on the driving front.
It is likely he would replace Kamui Kobayashi, who has been told that there are no guarantees he will retain his seat until the end of the campaign.
A deal is not in place yet though, and it remains possible that the team could retain its current drivers in the event that an agreement with Lotterer cannot be reached.
Lotterer has not been behind the wheel of a contemporary F1 car since his time as a Jaguar test driver more than a decade ago, having had numerous outings for the team between 2000 and '02.
However, his recent frontrunning performances in Super Formula, including the 2011 title, mean he has plenty of recent single-seater experience.
If the German is to take part at Spa, however, he will need releasing from his commitments in Japan with TOM'S, with a race due to take place at Motegi this weekend, as well as well get permission from Audi, which he races with in the World Endurance Championship.
He will also need to get a Super Licence, which he qualifies for having finished as runner-up of the Super Formula Championship last year.
Lotterer won Le Mans in 2011-12 and this year, and took the WEC title in 2012.