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Kobayashi back at Caterham for Monza

NEWS STORY
04/09/2014

Amidst rumours that Andre Lotterer refused the drive, Kamui Kobayashi partners Marcus Ericsson at Monza this weekend.

"I am working for Caterham F1 Team and I always respect team decisions," said the Japanese. "Now I am back in the car and looking forward to going racing again!

"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."

The team also welcomes 23-year-old Spaniard, Roberto Merhi, who will drive Kobayashi's car in FP1.

Merhi bean his single-seater racing career in 2007, competing in the Italian Formula Renault and Formula Renault Eurocup. A year later he was runner-up in the West European Series as well as racing in five rounds of the Spanish Formula 3 championship.

In 2009, he stepped-up to the Formula 3 Euro Series, winning the championship in 2011 after 20 top-three finishes, including 11 wins. For the 2012 and 2013 season the Spaniard raced in the DTM, scoring points in his second year and achieving a podium finish in the final race of the season. He currently races in Formula Renault 3.5 Series and is second in the standings, challenging for the title.

"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," said Mehri, "it's something I've wanted for a very long time!

"I've been working very closely with the team during the last few weeks and I feel ready for this opportunity; 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."

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