Kobayashi experience vital, says Abiteboul
21 January 2014 – Caterham team boss Cyril Abiteboul believes that Kamui Kobayashi's prior Formula 1 experience will be "incredibly important" to the Leafield-based outfit as it tackles this year's technical regulation overhaul.
Earlier on Tuesday, it was announced that Kobayashi, who debuted with Toyota in 2009 before representing Sauber from 2010 to 2012, will return to the top echelon with Caterham, partnering rookie Marcus Ericsson.
And with the sport preparing for the introduction of turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 engines, various aerodynamic changes and chassis tweaks, Abiteboul expects the Japanese driver to play a major role in car development.
"I'm delighted that we've been able to bring Kamui back," said Abiteboul. "He is a very popular driver and it's very good for the team that we've been able to attract such an exciting driver 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 as we tackle one of the most challenging seasons F1 has ever embarked upon."
Kobayashi has contested 60 F1 races to date, recording a best finish of third at the 2012 Japanese Grand Prix.