Lotterer replaces Kobayashi for Spa
Who is Andre Lotterer?
- German driver Lotterer has a stellar record in both sports cars and open-wheel racing. As well as Le Mans 24 Hour titles in 2011, 2012 and 2014, he won Formula Nippon in 2011 and the World Endurance Championship in 2012.
The announcement was made on Wednesday following confirmation of Lotterer's FIA Superlicence, with the initial deal covering one race. Despite the deal Kobayashi remains part of the team.
Caterham is currently undergoing a restructure by new ownership, who had made it clear there was a possibility of a change in driver line-up in the coming weeks. Lotterer will join the team as it introduces a major upgrade package this weekend, part of a bid to secure 10th place in the constructors' championship.
Lotterer, who had numerous F1 test outings for Jaguar between 2000 and 2002, said: "I am delighted to be given the opportunity to take part in a Formula One race weekend - I want to thank Caterham F1 Team for this chance. I'm ready for this challenge and I cannot wait to jump in the car and make the most out of the weekend ahead.
"I will need to get settled and used to the car quickly, as the team has worked on a number of updates and we will need to have as much time as possible out on track to optimise the car's performance. I really enjoy racing at the legendary circuit of Spa-Francorchamps, it's one of my favourite tracks and it's very close to where I grew up, so this makes the weekend even more special and one to remember."
Lotterer has links with Caterham adviser Colin Kolles having driven for his Audi LMP1 entry at Le Mans in 2009, and this season had been driving for Audi alongside Super Formula commitments in Japan. A press release announcing the news stated: "The team will benefit from having another experienced driver at the wheel of the car throughout the weekend and the German's feedback will contribute to improve the performance of the car. The weather also plays a big role at Spa-Francorchamps and Lotterer is one of the most experienced drivers racing under mixed conditions."
At 32 years, 288 days Lotterer will become the oldest F1 debutant since 37-year-old Giovanni Lavaggi at the 1995 German Grand Prix.