Kobayashi and Ericsson form all-new Caterham squad

2014 F1 season

Kamui Kobayashi, Robin Frijns, Marcus Ericsson, Caterham, 2014Caterham have completely changed their race driver line-up for the second year in a row.

The team has announced Kamui Kobayashi will return to Formula One with them after a one-year absence.

He will be joined by rookie Marcus Ericsson, who is set to become Sweden’s first driver to start a round of the world championship since Stefan Johansson in 1991.

Caterham also announced Alexander Rossi will continue as test driver alongside new hire Robin Frijns.

“It?s a great honour that the team hired me based on the value I bring in racing terms, and the experience I have and I am so happy that I am able to make this announcement today,” said Kobayashi. “I will do my very best to lead the team and work as hard as possible to achieve our targets.”

Kobayashi made his F1 debut with Toyota in 2009, then spent the next three seasons at Sauber. After being dropped by the team at the end of 2012 he raised money from fans to continue his Formula One career.

“I want to give special thanks to all the fans who have made donations to Kamui Support,” said Kobayashi. “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.”

“Every single one of you who helped with Kamui Support will race with me in 2014 and that makes me very proud.”

Despite raising ??8 million from fans and sponsors towards a 2013 seat, Kobayashi said he was unable to secure a place with a competitive team before the start of last season. “My main priority is to secure the competitive F1 seat in 2014,” he said at the time.

Kobayashi spent last year driving for Ferrari’s AF Corse GT racing team in the World Endurance Championship. He also drove one of the team’s F1 cars at Fiorano and in a demonstration run at Moscow which was interrupted by a minor crash.

“For me, it?s a chance to start again with a new team but one that?s serious about progressing,” Kobayashi added, “and for the team, 2014 is the first chance to show what they can do with all the people and infrastructure they?ve built up in Leafield since moving there in 2012″.

Ericsson will graduate to Formula One five years after winning the Japanese Formula Three championship. He has raced in GP2 since then, winning three times in 84 starts.

The 23-year-old had his best chance to win the championship last year after slotting into the DAMS drive vacated by previous champions Romain Grosjean and Davide Valsecchi. But he endured a difficult first half of the season and didn’t score a point in a race until his tenth start, after which he raised his game and ended the year fifth, his best result so far in the championship.

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

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171 comments on Kobayashi and Ericsson form all-new Caterham squad

  1. mixwell (@mixwell) said on 22nd January 2014, 2:56

    is it true that Kob is driving for free ?

  2. Brian (@bforth) said on 22nd January 2014, 4:29

    I suppose I would rather (sort of) see him in F1 again rather than (sort of) see Charles Pic. The parenthetical remarks are because we never see much of the back-markers in the first place.
    I’ve always thought Kamui overrated but still well enough on the quick side–he was nearly a match for Perez, after all. He ought to be a fine gauge for whether Ericsson is just another rich boy or an actual talent.

    I will miss seeing Kamui Kobayashi and Bruno Senna (who would have thought?) staging such spectacular duels in the WEC. Can’t blame him for taking the chance to go back to F1 though.

  3. smudgersmith1 (@smudgersmith1) said on 22nd January 2014, 7:58

    for Kobayashi ….. お帰りなさい。あなたは素晴らしいシーズンを持っている願っています

  4. Fernando Cruz said on 23rd January 2014, 0:38

    Kobayashi is good but not great. Bruno Senna is not great either but at least he did better last year (in the WEC), so he deserved even more to be back in F1. Even more so because the japanese had already 3 years with a good F1 car, while the brazilian had only one full season with a good one (and even that one it was not a fair chance due to losing all those free practice). It just shows how overrated Kamui is, as with similar machinery and conditions (GP2 and WEC) Bruno was better than him.

  5. Who else was hoping for Koba/Kova partnership?
    Long shot, but I was hoping for it!

    Interesting question:In this situation, out of Marussia and Caterham who would get 10th! So here’s the situation:Marussia sign Glock/Bianchi and Caterham sign Kova/Koba.Kova gets a 12th early on and then Glock gets an 11th before Bianchi and Glock each get a point! Then Kova and Koba each get a point!With 2 points each and 12 races left who will come out on top?

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