Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2014: British driver Will Stevens to fill vacant Caterham seat for F1 debut

Stevens will partner regular driver Kamui Kobayashi as Caterham return to the grid after a two-race absence

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The Independent Online

Caterham have confirmed that Will Stevens will complete their driver line-up for this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The 23-year-old Briton teams up with Kamui Kobayashi for the season-ending double pointer for which cash-strapped Caterham announced they would race a week ago after going into administration last month.

Earlier this month, Caterham launched a crowd-funding project in a bid to raise the £2.35million needed to get the team on the grid for the final race of the season. Administrators Smith & Williamson announced last Friday that they were just under £500,000 short and that they would race at the Yas Marina.

Stevens was part of the Caterham Racing Academy and has been involved in Formula One testing for the Leafield-based marque in 2013 and this year, clocking up 1,100kilometres in the process and gaining his FIA Super licence.

 

He is delighted to be given the chance at Caterham for the final race on the 2014 calendar and said: "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.

"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 (simulator).

"Hopefully this will be something we will be able to carry through to the 2015 season together."

Will-Stevens.jpg
Will Stevens in testing for Caterham at Silverstone

Caterham head of engineering operations Gianluca Pisanello was pleased to have Stevens on board in Abu Dhabi as the team return to the track after missing out in the last two races in the United States and Brazil.

He said: "We know Will very well through his involvement in the Caterham Racing Academy.

"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 500km, 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."

PA

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