Connect with us

2014 F1

Merhi to replace Kobayashi for Italian GP

Published

on

roberto_merhi_MDSIMA20121211_0316_6
Roberto Merhi has admitted he is in the running to be the next occupant of sidelined Caterham racer Kamui Kobayashi’s seat.

At Spa, reigning Le Mans winner Andre Lotterer is racing in the Japanese’s place, but he has only been released by his Super Formula team TOM’s as well as the works Audi outfit for one weekend only.

The 32-year-old Belgian-raised German admitted he might also add value to the newly Colin Kolles-led team at Suzuka, a circuit he knows intimately.

But Lotterer is not counting on a F1 future beyond that.

“Even if I do an outstanding performance here, I cannot imagine that suddenly a top team is going to present me with a three-year contract,” he is quoted by Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport.

That attitude is an acknowledgement of Caterham’s current situation; with Kobayashi having been pushed from his seat due to the one-off sponsor offering of Lotterer’s sponsor, the Hype energy drink.

Caterham says the mainly unfunded Kobayashi remains part of the team, but already it is clear that Kolles has his eye on at least one or two likely alternatives for the remaining seven race weekends of 2014.

One of them could be Carlos Sainz jr, whose backer Red Bull earlier had talks with Kolles but could not agree financial terms for the opportunity.

The big frontrunner now is Roberto Merhi, a 23-year-old Spaniard who according to the Spanish newspaper AS “has the necessary financial support thanks to Russian businessmen”.

Merhi is at Spa this weekend as a guest of Caterham.

But he denied it is now a simple matter of the Russians striking a deal with Kolles.

“It is not true that the Russians put in the money because it is precisely those of my team (Zeta Corse) in the World Series who don’t want me in F1 because they want to win this championship (Formula Renault 3.5),” said Merhi.

But speculation is rife that the deal on the table for Merhi is two races in 2014 in Kobayashi’s place.

“I am likely to be in Monza, but still nothing is certain because in this world nothing is,” he insisted.

“It is true that I was invited to be here (at Spa) and I am. They (Caterham) called me to come to the factory and test the simulator, which I did, they ended up quite happy and presented me with this opportunity.”

AS claims Merhi’s two-race stint actually would have started in Belgium, but because his European F3 title was three years ago, the FIA did not automatically issue him with a F1 super license. (GMM)

Loading...

Comments

Latest Results

Latest F1 News

2019 F12 days ago

McLaren cannot win unless F1 changes – Seidl

Andreas Seidl says McLaren cannot return to title-winning form unless Formula 1 changes. The German, who arrives from Porsche’s Le...

2019 F12 days ago

Alonso says F1 still not attractive enough

Fernando Alonso has played down speculation that he is pushing for a return to Formula 1. The Spaniard, who quit...

2019 F13 days ago

Alfa Romeo confirms designer Resta’s exit

The path is clear for Simone Resta to return to Ferrari as chief designer. Alfa Romeo has now confirmed Resta’s...

2019 F13 days ago

Vettel should be Leclerc’s number 2 – Baldisserri

Ferrari should consider making Sebastian Vettel the ‘number 2’ driver behind Charles Leclerc. That is the view of former highly-experienced...

2019 F13 days ago

McLaren denies Renault-only party mode

McLaren boss Andreas Seidl has denied that Renault’s works team has a “party mode” setting that is not available to...

2019 F13 days ago

Bottas must work harder to beat Hamilton – Rosberg

The “only way” Valtteri Bottas can beat Lewis Hamilton is for the Finn to work harder. That is the view...

2019 F13 days ago

Plans for 2021 cars finally emerge

Detailed information about the highly anticipated and delayed technical regulations for 2021 has finally emerged. The teams have already agreed...

2019 F13 days ago

Bottas says he deserves to stay at Mercedes

Valtteri Bottas says he wants to remain Lewis Hamilton’s teammate in 2020. Earlier, the Finn’s chances of a new deal...

2019 F15 days ago

Hamilton steps back from claims of racism

Lewis Hamilton has distanced himself from suggestions that the British media has an attitude with “racist undertones” about Lewis Hamilton....

2019 F15 days ago

Gasly ‘perfect’ at Silverstone – Horner

Pierre Gasly thinks he has put his F1 career back on track. After Austria, Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko said...

Most Popular

ThisisF1.com is not affiliated with Formula 1, Formula One Management, Formula One Administration, Formula One Licensing BV, Formula One World Championship Ltd or any other organization or entity associated with the official Formula One governing organizations or their shareholders. Copyrighted material used under Fair Use/Fair Comment.

References
We could use the following leading F1 news sources for stories: SkyF1, BBC F1, Autosport, ESPN F1, FIA Media Center, MotorSport, JamesAllen and others leading authors blog.

All Rights Reserved © 2017 Prime Sport Media