Caterham hands Stevens debut in Abu Dhabi
Caterham has confirmed Will Stevens will race alongside Kamui Kobayashi as the team makes its return at this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Caterham entered administration last month but has raised enough funds via a crowd-sourcing website to arrive in Abu Dhabi this weekend. Its participation should help protect its entry for 2015, which is its most valuable asset, as the administrators look for a buyer to take on the team.
Stevens tested the Caterham at the Silverstone test after the British Grand Prix this year and was lined up to drive a Marussia in Japan before problems with his getting his superlicence on time. However, Caterham confirmed on Thursday ahead of this weekend's race that Stevens was ready and able to race in Abu Dhabi.
"I'm absolutely thrilled to be getting this opportunity and am very grateful to everyone involved at Caterham F1 Team for giving it to me," Stevens said. "I feel ready for the challenge of my F1 debut and look forward to working as part of the Team in a race environment after all the work we've done together previously in the tests I've completed and back at Leafield in the sim. Hopefully this will be something we will be able to carry through to the 2015 season together".
Gianluca Pisanello, Caterham F1 Team head of engineering operations added: "We know Will very well through his involvement in the Caterham Racing Academy and more importantly he has done a vast amount of time in our simulator, completing around 10,000km, which has built his experience both of this year's car and with the engineering team that are going to Abu Dhabi. In addition, his 2014 test at Silverstone in our current car, where he completed over 500kms, was very successful and his race pace was very good. As a result, he was one of our best candidates for this race weekend and we are delighted to have secured his services for our return to the F1 grid. We in fact signed Will last week but have had to wait for confirmation of his Super licence before making our announcement."