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Will Stevens completes Caterham line-up in Abu Dhabi

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Will Stevens completes Caterham line-up in Abu Dhabi
Nov 20, 2014, 1:00 PM

Former Marussia and Caterham test driver Will Stevens will race for the revived Caterham outfit alongside Kamui Kobayashi at the Abu Dhabi Grand P...

Former Marussia and Caterham test driver Will Stevens will race for the revived Caterham outfit alongside Kamui Kobayashi at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this weekend, the team has revealed.

Stevens returns to the Leafield fold having quit the team, where he was a reserve driver, earlier this year in favour of a similar role at Marussia. He had been pencilled in for a Friday practice drive with Marussia at the Japanese Grand Prix but missed out when paperwork relating to his super licence could not be completed in time.

While at Caterham, Stevens took part in the 2013 and 2014 young driver tests and was a regular in the simulator at the team's Leafield HQ. This year he finished sixth in the Formula Renault 3.5 series standings, with two wins to his credit.

Stevens had an F1 super licence due to covering over 1,100 km of testing in the young driver tests at SIlverstone last year and this; he was confirmed by the team in time for the deadline for driver nominations on Thursday in Abu Dhabi. He was a star in his karting days, becoming European and Asia-Pacific Champion in 2008.

The 23 year old Englishman, from Essex, had been due to do a Friday morning outing for the Marussia team in Suzuka this year but it fell through. According to the team a paperwork hold up regarding his contract led to him sitting out FP1, with Max Chilton completing his normal programme instead. Previously Stevens was a member of Caterham's young driver programme.

“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," saids Stevens of his drive this weekend. "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, the team's 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”.

 
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