Just days before the Belgian Grand Prix, Caterham has announced that André Lotterer will replace Kamui Kobayashi for this Sunday’s race.
Speculation that the German would replace Kobayashi began to build this week and was confirmed through a press release by the team this morning. Kobayashi yesterday tweeted that he was preparing for the Belgium GP, but today tweeted his disappointment at the news.
“I will not drive this week Belgium GP,” Kobayashi said. “It’s shame not to drive spa. And [I] feel sorry for all my supporter but this is Motersports! I hope not!”
The motive behind the decision to replace Kobayashi seems unclear as the former Sauber driver will be back in the cockpit at the Italian Grand Prix. In their press release Caterham offered some explanation to Lotterer’s one-race appointment, saying: “The weather also plays a big role at Spa-Francorchamps and Lotterer is one of the most experienced drivers racing under mixed conditions.”
“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 press release continued, before stressing that “The Japanese driver still remains part of the team.”
Thirty-two year old Lotterer was Jaguar’s test driver in 2002, and has competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 24 Hours of Nurburgring. He currently competes in the FIA World Endurance Championship alongside former F1 racers such as Mark Webber, Anthony Davidson, Nick Heidfeld and Sebastien Buemi.