Last weeks takeover of the Caterham F1 Team by the Swiss and Middle Eastern investors has caused rumours to surface about who will be driving for the team, even commenting that the line-up of Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson could change before the next grand prix.
Recent rumours have indicated that Kobayashi’s future is more at risk, and the Japanese driver could be replaced, even as soon as next weekends German Grand Prix at Hockenheim – by Spaniard Carlos Sainz Jr. According to Spanish newspaper El Mundo Deportivo, there have been talks between Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko, Sainz Jr’s father Carlos Sainz, and Colin Kolles, who is Caterham’s new advisor after the takeover with a view to Sainz Jr driving for the team.
Red Bull Racing have a previous occasion in their ten-year history of placing one of their young drivers at another team, when in 2011 they sent Daniel Ricciardo to the HRT team to make his Formula 1 debut, and rumours are that they will repeat that with Sainz Jr this year with Caterham.
“Nothing is final, nor is it the only option,” stated the newspaper, citing a source close to the Red Bull driver. “Currently, Carlos is focused on this weekend’s round of the Renault World Series, and then we will talk and see.”
Sainz Jr is racing this year for DAMS in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series and is currently leading the championship. He is currently focused on this weekend’s Nurburgring rounds of the series, and is hoping to extend his championship lead that currently stands at 33 points over fellow Red Bull-backed Pierre Gasly.
Another rumour from the newspaper regarding Sainz Jr if the Caterham deal does not materialise is that the Scuderia Toro Rosso will give the young Spanish driver some free practice sessions towards the end of the year, much like they did with current driver Daniil Kvyat in 2013. With Jean-Eric Vergne unlikely to remain at the team for a fourth season unless he has a brilliant remainder of 2014, Sainz Jr could just be the team’s second driver in 2015.