Caterham confirms Kobayashi's Monza F1 return and Merhi's FP1 run

Caterham has confirmed that Kamui Kobayashi will rejoin its race line-up for the Italian Grand Prix, as predicted by AUTOSPORT, with Roberto Merhi making his Formula 1 debut in practice

Caterham confirms Kobayashi's Monza F1 return and Merhi's FP1 run

Kobayashi sat out the Belgian GP in favour of Andre Lotterer.

AUTOSPORT revealed on Wednesday that Caterham was set to bring Kobayashi back after looking at both Merhi and Lotterer as options for the Monza race.

It is understood that Merhi was unable to get a full superlicence but the team committed to running him in free practice one in preparation for a potential Singapore GP outing.

With Lotterer believed to be unwilling to race again unless he could run in all the sessions, Kobayashi was recalled.

The Japanese driver said he had no qualms about Caterham's decision to shuffle and reshuffle its driver roster.

"I am working for Caterham F1 Team and I always respect team decisions," he said.

"Now I am back in the car and looking forward to going racing again."

MERHI TO MAKE F1 DEBUT

Merhi's practice outing is the latest step in a successful single-seater comeback for the 23-year-old Spaniard, who switched to Mercedes' DTM programme after winning the 2011 Formula 3 Euro Series but returned to the F1 ladder in Formula Renault 3.5 this season.

He is currently second to Red Bull protege Carlos Sainz Jr in the FR3.5 standings with three rounds remaining.

Merhi feared single-seater return would fail

"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," said Merhi.

"I'm definitely going to make the most out of this weekend in Italy.

"I've been working very closely with the team during the last few weeks and I feel ready for this opportunity."

Three-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Lotterer's chances of further Caterham outings remain unclear.

The only other grand prix that does not clash with either his Audi World Endurance Championship LMP1 programme or his Super Formula commitments in Japan is the Japanese GP at Suzuka in October.

"I have my career, I don't want to compromise anything with Audi or in Japan anymore," Lotterer said at Spa.

"Theoretically, the races that I am available for would only be Monza and Suzuka.

"Obviously Suzuka is another home track for me with 10 years of racing there, it would probably be the place where I would like to do it most as well.

"Let's see, if they ask me for sure I'll do it."

shares
comments
Another way to fix the F1 ladder

Previous article

Another way to fix the F1 ladder

Next article

Red Bull and Renault begin major Formula 1 revamp programme

Red Bull and Renault begin major Formula 1 revamp programme
Load comments
The 70s US superteam that tried and failed to crack F1 Plus

The 70s US superteam that tried and failed to crack F1

Vel’s Parnelli Jones Racing was briefly one of the biggest names on the US motorsports scene, but its ambition outstripped its resources. STUART CODLING relates the story of a Formula 1 campaign cut off in its prime

The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory Plus

The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon at the returning Circuit of the Americas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement Plus

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man ANTHONY PEACOCK explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it)

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull Plus

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be another close contest

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021