Kobayashi unhappy with Caterham treatment
Kamui Kobayashi says he is far from happy with the way Caterham has treated his race seat in recent weeks and is already considering his future options away from the team.
Kobayashi was dropped for Andre Lotterer ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix but returns at Monza this weekend, though he will step aside for Roberto Merhi in FP1. Reports this week suggested Caterham wanted Merhi in the race seat this weekend but could not obtain a superlicence for the 23-year-old, and Kobayashi, who flew from Tokyo on Wednesday to be in Monza, says he is frustrated by how the last few weeks have unfolded.
"It's not an easy situation," Kobayashi said. "I am here for the sport of racing, but looking at the last couple of weeks I think it's more political stuff happening than sport. We've had talks with lawyers and this is what we have right now. I have a contract. I am a Caterham driver and it's not up to me. If they say simulator I do simulator, if they say stay at home I stay at home, if they say race I race. Of course I'm not happy but this [situation] I cannot avoid."
"Before Spa I was in the factory, we did some simulator work, I was ready to race, but just before coming to Spa they decided I wouldn't race. I was still at Spa, just not at the track. I didn't want to come to the track. I wanted to avoid trouble. It was not clear what happened in the team and I had nothing to say. They didn't tell me a reason, just that I wasn't driving."
Kobayashi does not think the situation would be much different if Caterham had not been purchased by new management in July.
"It's difficult to compare; the situation is different. If the management didn't change maybe the team wouldn't be racing? I don't know the situation really, things are not clear. If they want to survive they need to do something and I think this is what they are doing. I think we need to look for other opportunities but let's see what we can do."