Caterham recall Kobayashi, hand Merhi FP1 outing

Caterham recall Kobayashi, hand Merhi FP1 outing


Kamui Kobayashi will race for Caterham at the Italian Grand Prix this weekend, while Formula Renault 3.5 racer Roberto Merhi will make his Formula 1 debut in opening practice with the team.

Kobayashi, who was replaced by three time Le Mans winner Andre Lotterer at the Belgian Grand Prix, will return to Caterham for the Italian round of the championship, partnering Marcus Ericsson at the team.

“I am working for Caterham F1 Team and I always respect team decisions,” said Kobayashi. “I am back in the car and looking forward to going racing again!

“We have worked hard as a team and added performance to the car as well as bringing new updates since I last drove in Hungary before the summer break, so I’m looking forward to feeling the updates on track here in Monza.”

Merhi, who was linked with a Caterham race seat ahead of the weekend, will take the wheel of Kobayashi’s car during opening practice on Friday, for what will be the 23-year-old’s first taste of Formula 1 machinery.

“I am delighted to be taking part in my first ever Formula 1 Free Practice session and I want to thank Caterham F1 Team for this opportunity,” said the Spaniard. “It’s something I’ve wanted for a very long time!

“I’ve been working very closely with the team during the last few weeks and I feel ready for this opportunity; Friday is going to be a very special day for me and one I will never forget.”

Images courtesy of Octane Photographic