Kamui Kobayashi is set to return to the driving seat for Caterham at the Italian Grand Prix after sitting out the Belgium Grand Prix for sportscar ace Andre Lotterer to make his F1 debut, talking about the situation the Japanese driver said “I am working for Caterham F1 Team and I always respect team decisions. Now I am back in the car and looking forward to going racing again!”
The team also announced the expected news that Roberto Merhi would be driving in FP1 (a choice that meant Lotterer turned down a drive this weekend), “I am delighted to be taking part in my first ever Formula 1 Free Practice session and I want to thank Caterham F1 Team for this opportunity – it’s something I’ve wanted for a very long time!” said Mehri.
Kobayashi is looking forward to returning to driving duties and especially the legendary Monza circuit. “We have worked hard as a team and added performance to the car as well as bringing new updates since I last drove in Hungary before the summer break, so I’m looking forward to feeling the updates on track here in Monza.
“I always enjoy the Italian GP, not only because of its high-speed nature; I also like the Italian fans, they are always very enthusiastic and a very big part of the Italian GP weekend. They create a very special atmosphere.”
Marcus Ericsson has fond memories of the Monza circuit having taken a victory there during his GP2 career and is clearly excited about taking to the track in an F1 car.“To do it for the first time driving a Formula 1 car is going to be even more special.
“I can’t wait to get out on track: the long straights and fast corners mean that we are on full-throttle for most of the lap; it’s a fantastic high-speed layout – in fact it’s the circuit with the highest top speed of the season, so maximum power and minimal drag will be key.
“After a solid race in Belgium, we need to build on the progress we made with the car and continue to work in this direction. We aim to fight against our nearest rivals and it will surely be another close battle I am ready for.”
This weekend will mark the first official weekend F1 session for Roberto Merhi who will get behind the wheel of Kobayashi’s Caterham for the session. “I’ve been working very closely with the team during the last few weeks and I feel ready for this opportunity;” said the Spaniard.
“Friday is going to be a very special day for me and one I will never forget. Monza is also one of my favourite tracks – I ended up on the podium there earlier this year during my first race of the season in the Formula Renault 3.5 championship, so it’s a circuit that will bring back very good memories.
“What a year it’s been so far: last Christmas I didn’t really know if I was going to carry on racing and now I’m about to drive a Formula 1 car! I’m definitely going to make the most out of this weekend in Italy.”