Kobayashi back in Formula 1 with Caterham alongside rookie Ericsson

21 January, 2014

Kamui Kobayashi back in Formula 1

Kamui Kobayashi back in Formula 1

Formula 1 tail-enders Caterham rang the changes by announcing the return of popular Japanese racer Kamui Kobayashi and arrival of Swedish rookie Marcus Ericsson in an all-new 2014 driver line-up on Tuesday.

The long-awaited announcement completes the 22-man grid for the season starting in Australia in March and marks a fresh start for the Malaysian-owned team, which have yet to score a point in four years of trying.

The two replace Frenchman Charles Pic and Dutch driver Giedo van der Garde.

“I’m delighted that we’ve been able to bring Kamui back. He is a very popular driver and it’s very good for the whole team [that] we’ve been able to attract such an exciting driver to join us at a critical point in our development,” said Caterham Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul.

Kamui Kobayashi made his F1 debut with Toyota at the 2009 Brazilian GP

Kamui Kobayashi made his F1 debut with Toyota at the 2009 Brazilian GP

“His pace speaks for itself, and his extensive experience of developing cars, particularly in his years with Toyota, will be incredibly important for us as we tackle one of the most challenging seasons F1 has ever embarked upon.”

Kobayashi, who set up a website to raise the funds needed to secure his F1 return after losing his Sauber seat in 2012, competed for Ferrari in sportscars last year.

He said it was a great feeling to be back and thanked all those fans who had contributed to make it possible.

“Their donations and gestures gave me extra strength to come back fighting and I am very pleased that the money they raised not only helped me but will now go to helping Caterham progress this year,” he said.

Marcus Ericsson will make his grand prix debut with Caterham

Marcus Ericsson will make his grand prix debut with Caterham

“Every single one of you who helped with ‘KAMUI SUPPORT’ will race with me in 2014 and that makes me very proud.”

The Japanese driver finished third in his home race at Suzuka in 2012 and will be his country’s sole representative on the starting grid.

Ericsson, 23, will be making his debut after competing in the junior GP2 series last year and becomes Sweden’s first F1 race driver since Stefan Johansson in 1991.

“It’s obviously great for Sweden that we’ll have a Swedish driver back on the grid in 2014,” he said.

“This is what I’ve been working for since I first started racing karts back when I was nine years old, and now I know I’m ready for the step up to F1.

Cyril Abiteboul

Cyril Abiteboul

“Caterham is a young team and together we can take on the challenges [which] the new rules will present in 2014.”

F1 has a new turbocharged V6 engine, replacing the old V8s, as well as other major technical changes to come to grips with this season.

Ericsson will not be the only rookie from Scandinavia, with Denmark’s Kevin Magnussen making his debut at McLaren.

Caterham said that American Alexander Rossi would remain the reserve driver at weekends when he was not competing in GP2 with Dutchman Robin Frijns otherwise filling the role and having some time in the car during the year. (Reuters)

Subbed by AJN.


  • Tamburello_1994

    F1 needs a Asian driver(s) So it’s good to see Kamui back to the big show. Never will forget that podium on home soil Suzuka, Seems like ages since then but its only been two seasons ago. Time flies.

    Now it’s up to Caterham to put out a halfway decent car . . . . .

  • MP4-23

    F1 Needs good drivers no-matter what race they are from and in Kamui F1 has once again gained a good driver. Welcome back Kobi.

  • captain tortuga

    almost perfect, the sweed should have been the reserve with Frijns as a driver, but im very pleased to see Kobayashi back, and to see Frijns in F1 as well, as a Bonus v/dGarde goes testing for Sauber.. after passing the opertunity to DRIVE another year in the CTH.. a bit weird, but anyways two dutchmen in the paddock next year, of which one is expected to do good performances.

  • Hawk

    if I am not mistaken, Sergio wiped the floor with Kamui. so he is where he deserves to be.. caterham.. no better.

  • AAX

    yay!!!

  • AAX

    @hawk..You’re a negative troll.Go slit your wrists already ya miserable fella! The season’s not even started and you bring out your negative stats! Pfft!

  • Hawk

    Aha.. Frankly from the comments made who of us is more likely to split their wrists? I can imagine you have already broken your tables.

  • AAX

    I can’t understand why Kobayashi back in F1 is negative..Who would you prefer? Kathikeyan perhaps..Wait.. dont bring out the stats on that..He got points in Indy when the tyres were dodgy!

  • Urko

    F1 fans often like to complain about pay drivers, but with Koba we’ve actually created another one. Funny, isn’t it;)

  • MP4-23

    if I am not mistaken, Sergio wiped the floor with Kamui. so he is where he deserves to be.. caterham.. no better.

    …………………………………………………………………………………….

    Kaumi finished above Perez in 2011 34-14. And in 2012 Perez finished above Kaumi 66-63 hardly wiping the floor.

  • AAX

    Thanks @MP4-23 surely “Hawk” needs an eye test as well then!

  • Ride me sideways

    Hawk does not watch much f1 does he?????????? Tool

  • farizY

    @Urko

    Ultimately, everyone is a pay driver in F1, these drivers bring in loads of cash from sponsors don’t they?

  • Urko

    @farizY

    Yeah, and which the sponsor has he brought???

  • Urko

    @farizY;

    Yeah, and which the sponsor has he brought??

  • farizY

    @Urko

    How do you get into F1 these days? You bring in sponsors, or a load of cash to be able to attained a seat, by that definition, they still pay-to-get-their-seats, in other words, pay-drivers.

    googling helps:
    “A pay driver is a driver for a professional auto racing team who, instead of being paid by their car owner, drives for free and brings with him either personal sponsorship or personal or family funding to finance the team’s operations.”

    Which clearly means, all new drivers are mostly pay-drivers. If the perform well, the team would probably start to pay them.
    But it is not always a bad thing, some pay-drivers are actually worthy of their talents, and unfortunately, some aren’t so much.

  • Hawk

    I surely love trolling… especially at this time of interesting news drought… the responses make me laugh

    unfortunately I was not trolling.

  • Urko

    @frizY;

    Pls, just stop bullshitting. By ur words every driver is a pay driver, except Koba. U must be a politician…just full mouth of words & no specific facts;)

  • Urko

    …& btw i don’t need google to know/find out who pay driver is.

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