Will Stevens will make his Formula 1 debut with Caterham this weekend after getting his super licence at the last minute.
Caterham confirmed last week that their crowdfunding project had been a success and they would return to the grid in Abu Dhabi with Kamui Kobayashi named as one of their drivers.
With Marcus Ericsson severing all ties with the team, the second seat was left vacant and Formula Renault 3.5 series driver Roberto Merhi initially claimed he has a contract to partner Kobayashi.
However, the Leafield squad confirmed on Thursday that Stevens will take part in his maiden F1 race.
The 23-year-old, who also competes in the Formula Renault 3.5 series, was scheduled to make his bow for Marussia in Japan at the start of October, but missed out as he didn’t have a FIA Super Licence.
He will get his chance at the Yas Marina Circuit this weekend though.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be getting this opportunity and am very grateful to everyone involved at Caterham F1 Team for giving it to me,” Stevens said.
“I feel ready for the challenge of my F1 debut and look forward to working as part of the Team in a race environment after all the work we’ve done together previously in the tests I’ve completed and back at Leafield in the sim. Hopefully this will be something we will be able to carry through to the 2015 season together.”
Caterham’s Head of engineering operations Gianluca Pisanello added: “We know Will very well through his involvement in the Caterham Racing Academy and more importantly he has done a vast amount of time in our simulator, completing around 10,000km, which has built his experience both of this year’s car and with the engineering team that are going to Abu Dhabi.
“In addition, his 2014 test at Silverstone in our current car, where he completed over 500km, was very successful and his race pace was very good. As a result, he was one of our best candidates for this race weekend and we are delighted to have secured his services for our return to the F1 grid.
“We in fact signed Will last week but have had to wait for confirmation of his Super licence before making our announcement.”