Kobayashi and Ericsson set for Caterham race seats

Kamui Kobayashi

Kamui Kobayashi

Kamui Kobayashi looks set to return to Formula 1 in 2014 and join rookie Marcus Ericsson, marking a second consecutive all-new driver lineup for Caterham this season.

We reported recently that, having lost his Sauber seat and spending 2013 racing a Ferrari sports car, popular Japanese driver Kobayashi had moved into prime contention to return to Formula 1 with Caterham this season.

Italy’s Autosprint reports that 27-year-old Kobayashi’s deal is now effectively done.

Caterham is the last team in the 2014 pitlane to announce its race driver lineup, having competed last year with the all-new pairing of Giedo van der Garde and Charles Pic.

Both were regarded as ‘pay drivers’, but the team admitted it missed the input of a more seasoned racer, even though Heikki Kovalainen looks to have missed out on his 2014 return.

That is because Caterham, set to bank the comeback millions loyally pledged by Kobayashi’s fans, looks to be turning to a rookie to fill the second race seat this year.

Autosprint correspondent Roberto Chinchero reports that 23-year-old Swede Marcus Ericsson, a GP2 driver for the past four years with mixed success, appears “increasingly likely” to make his Formula 1 debut for Caterham in 2014.

Chinchero said that Ericsson’s “financial support played a crucial role in the negotiations” with the Tony Fernandes-led backmarker team. (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

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  • captain tortuga

    Kobayashi i can understand, but Guido brings more money, and i think is a slightly better driver then ericsson. anyway CTH will never learn im afraid, .. i think Marussia will be a surprise this year, since last years car was pretty good i’d say, they had to make due with a snotworth engine that lacked horsepower, torque, and KERS if im not mistaken, then to be able to beat a renaultpowered team, i think it means your chassis and aero is quite ok. therefore i think that this year with the ferrari engine they could be a lot better. (relatively, because i do believe that what was mentioned by horner, that the rulechanges only favor the bigger budgets)

  • Tamburello_1994

    Heikki Kovalainen –

    Never to be seen again.

  • RBC

    Heikki Kovalainen – Did nothing, hung around like a bad smell, talked about how he didn’t want to bring money to a struggling team, dreamed of moving up the grid. Just like Paul DiResta…

  • the fan

    Kobayashi is so much better than Maldonado. He should go to Lotus. But wait! they cant even pay their drivers. Kamui wont be able to eat his sushis! Caterham would be fine then.

  • Chrill

    I’m very curious to see Ericsson in F1. He surely never convinced in GP2 the way he did in previous junior series but he is a great talent and a mature driver for his age. I just never saw him as a driver with that kind of sponsor money. He has been regarded as rather “poor” in the GP2 paddock. What makes him a choice over the admittedly very rich van der Garde?

  • Kimi4WDC

    In my perfect world. Kobayashi will have an outstanding season and will replace Button at McLaren Honda in 2015 with Magnussen, who outscored Button by miles! Button joins Williams.