Caterham confirm Kobayashi, Ericsson

Tuesday 21-January-2014 10:55

After weeks of speculation, Caterham have announced Kamui Kobayashi's return to F1 with the Japanese driver partnering Marcus Ericsson.

Kobayashi last lined up on the F1 grid back in 2012 with the Sauber team but failed to retain his seat when finances were brought into play.

Having spent a year in the Ferrari GT programme, the fan-favourite is now set to return to F1, heading Caterham's charge.

"It's a great feeling to be back as an F1 race driver and I'm really pleased it's with Caterham F1 Team," said Kobayashi.

"We've been talking to Cyril and Tony since last year about driving for the team for 2014 and beyond. 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.

"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."

Kobayashi will team up with rookie racer Ericsson, who becomes the first Swede to compete in F1 since Stefan Johansson in 1991.

"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," said the former GP2 driver.

"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."

Caterham also announced that Alexander Rossi will continue as test driver alongside new hire Robin Frijns.

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