Caterham signs Kobayashi, Ericsson for 2014
21 January 2014 – Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson will form Caterham's driver line-up for the 2014 Formula 1 campaign, the outfit has confirmed. This completes the grid for the upcoming season, with all 22 seats filled.
The deal sees Kobayashi, who formerly raced for Toyota and Sauber, return to the top echelon after a year in Ferrari's GT programme, during which time he contested the World Endurance Championship (WEC).
"It's a great feeling to be back as an F1 race driver and I'm really pleased it's with Caterham," said Kobayashi after his comeback was announced. "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.
"It's a great honour that the team hired me based on the value I bring in racing terms and the experience I have."
He added: "I first visited the factory just before Christmas and it's clear how hungry the team is to make progress. From what I've seen, Caterham has everything in place to progress this year and for many seasons to come."
Meanwhile, Ericsson makes his graduation after four seasons in the feeder GP2 Series, and is set to become the first Swede to contest a Formula 1 race since Stefan Johansson called time on his career back in 1991.
"This is a very proud day for me and everyone has helped make my Formula 1 dream come true," explained 23-year-old Ericsson who tested for Brawn GP during the 2009 campaign after winning the Japanese Formula 3 championship. "I'm already excited about the season ahead, and the first race in Australia in particular.
"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."
Robin Frijns has joined Alexander Rossi as a reserve driver for the Leafield-based outfit.