Kobayashi could make F1 return with Caterham who are looking for experience

Kamui Kobayashi

Kamui Kobayashi

Fan favourite Kamui Kobayashi appears to be close to securing his return to Formula 1.

The Japanese driver lost his Sauber seat at the end of 2012, spending last season as a Ferrari test driver and driving a works Ferrari 458 in the Le Mans series.

But Kobayashi, 27, has also collected millions from his fans to offer to a potential Formula 1 race employer, and just before Christmas was spotted at Caterham’s factory.

When asked about the popular former Toyota and Sauber driver, a Caterham spokesman told Sky: “There are lots of drivers being linked with Caterham at the moment which is very good news for us.

“I think it’s flattering that somebody of Kamui’s experience, talent and popularity would be linked to our team.

Giedo van der Garde and Charles Pic during the 2013 Hungarian GP

Giedo van der Garde and Charles Pic during the 2013 Hungarian GP

“We will be making an announcement on drivers in due course and there are a number of drivers of Kamui’s experience who are being considered.”

Giedo van der Garde and Charles Pic drove for the team in 2013, but so far neither have been confirmed for the new season.

Along with Kobayashi, rookie Marcus Ericsson and former team driver Heikki Kovalainen have also been strongly linked with the seats. The latter has strong ties with the team. He was their FP1 driver on several occasions in 2013.

The Caterham spokesman admitted that “at least one” of the team’s 2014 drivers will be experienced.

“It’s particularly important with the new rules and the new car configuration that you have somebody who has some experience,” he said.

The spokesman added that Caterham is “very, very close” to making an announcement. (GMM)

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  • sarahsdadjeff

    Glad to see Kamui might be making a comeback. At times he showed a flash of brilliance. He and Japan are good for F1, I guess if he has to ride with Care than than SO be it. Maybe he can score them their 1st points. Banzai Kamui Good Luck and welcome back.

  • NickM

    This may end up being a decision centred around Honda engine supply for 2015. Of course Kamui is an excellent driver and now brings a few $$$ with him but I’m sure Honda will commercially favour any team with a Japanese driver in it. Love to see Kamui back on track.

  • hiwwie

    I think it’s great, if the rumour is true. Hopefully, we’ll see KK attacking the midfield with his Caterham.

  • Urko

    I realy don’t know what ppl see in Kamui or Heikki. They both had their chanse & showed nothing. Even Perez had more points (in the same car) then Kamui & we all know how that ended at McL. When will ppl realize that F1 is supposed to be racing competition & not Miss Congeniality contest.

  • matthew

    I agree with @Urko to a point. Your wrong about perez though. Mcclaren is a very immoral group, and will happily slit throats to save nickels. We all saw how hard mcclaren tried to find magnussen a seat, they couldn’t, so they dumped perez (who was having as good a season as possible with one of the very worst cars on the grid.) I am not a fan of conspiracy theories, but what does magnussen know that mcclaren doesn’t want to get out? Theres something going on behind the scenes.

  • Zombie Jebus

    Lol, at least with Kamui there will be a cult following and on track incidents… daring passes for p20 and such.

  • haha

    @Nickm, not quite. Kamui was a Toyota protégé and now a Ferrari one

  • SteveisGreat

    I don’t think you could call Kobay a Ferrari protégé, lol… he bought a seat, that’s all. He’s a customer driver. For sure though, he was with Toyota, not Honda.

    He’d be great for F1 though for a wide variety of reasons though I’m not sure how he rates as a development driver which is what the green team needs. Well that and millions and millions of well spent dollars, lol.

  • spornbot

    He is too streaky to be anything other than a midfield driver. Caterham might just suit him. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the top 10 on occasion but I wouldn’t bet on anything higher than 7th.

    That said, I do like him cuz he got some mean moves on track. However, he just isn’t consistent enough to be a WDC. Still, I hope he gets the drive because he is better than Kovalainen.