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Caterham: 'Kobayashi is back for Monza'

2014-09-04 14:07

GUESS WHO'S BACK... BACK AGAIN: Caterham's Kamui Kobiyashi was side-lined two weeks ago in Belgium by a rookie driver, now he's back in his seat for the Italian GP. Image: AFP / Nicholas Kamm

MONZA, Italy - Caterham is set to announce Kamui Kobayashi's return to the cockpit for the 2024 Italian grand prix this weekend.

The Japanese was sidelined two weeks ago at Spa-Francorchamps, as reigning Le Mans winner Andre Lotterer and his sponsor Hype stepped into the green car.

Caterham's new management intended to run the Russian-backed Spanish rookie Roberto Merhi in Monza, but it emerges that the FIA only granted him permission to drive in Friday practice, given his F1 inexperience.

It is believed the team, headed by Colin Kolles, now fully intends to give the 23-year-old his race debut in Singapore, after the FIA is satisfied with Merhi's practice performance at high-speed Monza and grants him a super license.

Lotterer, who performed strongly at Spa but retired early from the race with a loss of power, has revealed he was offered the race seat for Italy but turned it down.

The Belgian-raised German and works Audi sports car driver, Lotterer, said: "When Colin Kolles told me on Tuesday (September 2) 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."

Multiple sources are now reporting that Japanese Kobayashi, whose name is already showing above the Caterham garage at Monza, is en route to Italy.

The 27-year-old wrote in Japanese on Twitter: "I am headed to the country of pasta."

Kobayashi reportedly continues to lack adequate sponsorship for the seat, but Caterham has already run three drivers in 2014 and wants to keep the fourth open to Merhi for Singapore and beyond.

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 Italian GP this weekend.

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