After a long wait, Caterham F1 have finally announced their driver lineup for the 2014 Formula 1 season. While Caterham F1 is our own Paul Charsley’s favorite back marker, he’ll be doubly excited this year as the team has chosen one of his favorite unsung drivers in Japan’s Kamui Kobayashi.

Kobayashi turned down an extended contract with Ferrari for an expanded role in their driver program to secure the Caterham F1 seat with no pay saying:

“I am 27, I still need more to race in F1,” said Kamui. “That is why I chose to come back to F1.

“Ferrari offered me another contract, and Stefano is not happy I didn’t take it. But it is only my decision to be here.

“I took a risk in my life but it is important for me.

“Caterham needs some different energy and my experience is quite useful for this team. We’ll see what I can do. I am quite confident.”

Joining Kobayashi will be Marcus Ericsson on the team and team boss Cyril Abiteboul said:

“I’m very pleased we can finally unveil our F1 and GP2 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 from for both series. I believe that we have exciting, dynamic talents in both F1 and GP2 and I know just how excited everyone in the F1 team and Caterham Racing are about working with all five 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 that 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, but as a driver who has prepared perfectly for the step up with his graduation through the ranks. He started his single-seater 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.”

American F1 hopeful, Alexander Rossi, has retained his role as the third driver for the team. The announcement means that Giedo Van der Garde is out and while he has secured a third-driver role at Sauber, his teammate from 2013, Charles Pic, seems to be left adrift.

AUTOSPORT has the 2014 driver grid as:

Red Bull-Renault      Sebastian Vettel  Daniel Ricciardo
Mercedes              Lewis Hamilton    Nico Rosberg
Ferrari               Fernando Alonso   Kimi Raikkonen
Lotus-Renault         Romain Grosjean   Pastor Maldonado
McLaren-Mercedes      Jenson Button     Kevin Magnussen
Force India-Mercedes  Nico Hulkenberg   Sergio Perez
Sauber-Ferrari        Adrian Sutil      Esteban Gutierrez
Toro Rosso-Renault    Jean-Eric Vergne  Daniil Kvyat
Williams-Mercedes     Felipe Massa      Valtteri Bottas
Marussia-Ferrari      Jules Bianchi     Max Chilton
Caterham-Renault      Kamui Kobayashi   Marcus Ericsson
An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry focusing on technology integration, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • peterriva

    So darned good to see Kamui back… he’s a great driver and I am sure that Caterham will benefit from his skills and experience. Good show Caterham!

    • It’s a good call. Fans love Kamui, Peter, and it shows his commitment that he was willing to walk away from Ferrari with no pay to get the ride. But then, that’s Kamui. Let’s hope a Japanese company gets behind him for support.

  • gsprings

    well, a few years to show something,at least he has that,than he can go sportscar racing ,oh wait, 1 year if caterham sucks,because the big dog will shut her down

  • dude

    Big Kamui fan here, but hopes he shows something good and get promoted out of the small team quick, he belongs higher up in the grid.

  • gsprings

    I think Kobayashi is getting on a sinking ship, and when it sinks, so goes his f1 career,dude should have took the Ferrari sports car drive

  • Jack Flash (Aust)

    Great to see Kamui Kobayashi back in an F1 seat for 2014. Great respect for the ‘balls’ it must have taken him to turn down a paying long term contract with the Scuderia (Ferrari factory sports cars) to go for broke at another chance in Formula 1… unpaid at that at Caterham. A risky second grab at a dream. Don’t know whether it will work out well long term for Kamui. He’ll need to shine at least a few times this year and get a promotion to a mid-field team for 2015, otherwise he may fade away again (especially if Tony Fernandes hauls up stumps, and call time on Team Caterham F1 altogether).

    Marcus Eriksson I only know a little of from GP2. A few good results there. Hope he has a good first year for his sake, his career’s sake, and for Caterham in 2014. JF

  • F1_Knight

    People, I think that our excitement for the return of Kobe, has distracted us from the fact that PASTOR MALDONADO IS STILL WORKING! I mean HE gets the ride at Lotus and Kobayashi has to drive for Air Asia’s Billboard? WTF.