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Kobayashi back in F1 with Caterham

Kyodo

Race driver Kamui Kobayashi will be back in Formula One this year with British-based Caterham F1, the team said Tuesday.

Kobayashi, who was out of F1 last season, was listed as one of the team’s two regular drivers along with rookie Marcus Ericsson. Kobayashi’s top result, a third-place finish, is tied for the best ever by a Japanese driver in the competition.

“It feels wonderful to be able to return to F1 as a driver,” Kobayashi said. “It is such an honor to have my experience valued so highly and to be selected.

“I will give my all and want to make the maximum effort to achieve our goals.”

Kobayashi made his F1 debut at the end of the 2009 season with Toyota and followed that with three years at Sauber, which decided not to bring him back for 2013. Caterham, which joined F1 in 2010, has yet to have a car finish in the top 10.

“In F1, I’m delighted that we’ve been able to bring Kamui back,” Cyril Abiteboul, the team principal and chief executive officer, told the team’s official website.

“He is a very popular driver and it’s very good for the whole team that we’ve been able to attract such an exciting driver to join us at a critical point in our development. His pace speaks for itself and his extensive experience of developing cars, particularly in his years with Toyota, will be incredibly important for us as we tackle one of the most challenging seasons F1 has ever embarked upon.”