Lotterer turns down Caterham drive for Monza

Andre Lotterer  with Sebastian Vettel at Spa

Andre Lotterer with Sebastian Vettel at Spa

Andre Lotterer has turned down the chance to make a second appearance for Caterham at this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.

Earlier, it was expected Spanish rookie Roberto Merhi, and not the reigning Le Mans winner Lotterer who replaced Kamui Kobayashi at Spa, would be in action for the Monza weekend.

But it is believed Merhi, a World Series and DTM driver, has run into trouble with securing from the FIA his mandatory Formula 1 super license.

However, Spain’s Diario AS on Wednesday reported that Caterham chief Colin Kolles’ ‘plan B’ was to run Merhi in Friday morning practice, before Lotterer takes over for the rest of the race weekend.

Lotterer is quoted as saying he initially accepted Kolles’ proposal to race again in Italy, “I had my doubts, but the team insisted and I accepted.”

“When Colin Kolles told me on Tuesday that Merhi would take my place for the first practice session, I changed my mind and told them I would not participate. I am a newcomer in Formula 1 and I need to drive,” he explained.

Kolles’ plan is to run the reportedly Russian-backed Merhi on Friday in Spain in order to satisfy the FIA to grant him a full racing super license.

“I need 300 kilometres,” he said, “and if on Friday I am able to perform this test then at the next Grand Prix is another opportunity to get more experience to be on the grid.

“It’s best to go step by step,” 23 year old Merhi added. (GMM)