Caterham F1 Team have confirmed their 2014 driver line-ups with the announcement that Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson will race in Formula One in the forthcoming season with Robin Frijns and Alexander Rossi as F1 team Reserve Drivers.
Kobayashi joins the UK based team after one season out of F1, rejoining the sport as it heads towards a new era in F1 history with all-new rules for the season ahead. The popular Japanese driver joins F1 rookie Marcus Ericsson in an exciting, dynamic line-up that will push the team to achieve its targets throughout the season ahead whilst giving, for the second year running, an opportunity for a leading GP2 driver to make the step up to F1, demonstrating the logic of Caterham’s direct involvement in that F1 feeder Championship.
Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal and CEO, Caterham F1 Team: "I’m very pleased we can finally unveil our F1 drivers for the year ahead. The process may have taken longer than we’d have liked, but we didn’t want or need to be rushed into such important decisions and we have been in the happy position of having a wide range of drivers to choose. I believe that we have exciting, dynamic talents and I know just how excited everyone in the F1 team are about working with all drivers."
"In F1, I’m delighted that we’ve been able to bring Kamui back. He is a very popular driver and it’s very good for the whole team we’ve been able to attract such an exciting driver to join us at a critical point in our development. His pace speaks for itself, and his extensive experience of developing cars, particularly in his years with Toyota, will be incredibly important for us as we tackle one of the most challenging seasons F1 has ever embarked upon."
"Alongside him is Marcus who will be racing in his debut F1 season in 2014, but as a driver who has prepared perfectly for the step up to F1 with his graduation through the ranks. He started his single-seat career by winning Formula BMW UK in 2007 and rose through the ranks to GP2 where, last year, he won in Germany, scored two poles, three fastest laps and five podiums. He’s physically and mentally prepared for what lies ahead, and he will have all the support we can give him across the team to help him fulfil his obvious potential in Formula One."
Kamui Kobayashi: "It’s a great feeling to be back as an F1 race driver and I’m really pleased it’s with Caterham F1 Team. We’ve been talking to Cyril and Tony since last year about driving for the team for 2014 and beyond and throughout all our discussions I’ve been very impressed with where they want to take the team, and how much investment has been made already to help them achieve their goals. For me, it’s a great honour that the team hired me based on the value I bring in racing terms, and the experience I have and I am so happy that I am able to make this announcement today. I will do my very best to lead the team and work as hard as possible to achieve our targets."
"I also want to give special thanks to all the fans who have made donations to KAMUI SUPPORT. Their donations and gestures gave me extra strength to come back fighting and I am very pleased that the money they raised not only helped me but will now go to helping Caterham progress this year. Every single one of you who helped with KAMUI SUPPORT will race with me in 2014 and that makes me very proud."
"I can’t wait to start work again, and one of the benefits to making this announcement so close to the start of the tests means I only have a few days to wait to get back on track! Before then I’ll be at the factory as much as possible, working in the simulator and with everyone there to prepare as much as we can for the tests in Jerez and Bahrain. Physically and mentally I’m fully prepared, now I just want to get back to work!"
Marcus Ericsson: "This is a very proud day for me and everyone who has helped make my F1 dream come true. I’ll be making the step up to F1 with Caterham F1 Team in 2014 and I’m already excited about the season ahead, and the first race in Australia in particular."
"It’s obviously great for Sweden that we’ll have a Swedish driver back on the grid in 2014. This is what I’ve been working for since I first started racing karts back when I was nine years old, and now I know I’m ready for the step up to F1. Caterham is a young team and together we can take on the challenges the new rules will present in 2014, learning together and continuing to develop as the season progresses."