Kamui Kobayashi has become the latest name to be thrown into the hat at Caterham as Charles Pic’s F1 future hangs in the balance.
The current Ferrari test driver has been looking for a return to F1 since he was dropped by Sauber at the end of 2012 and, according to Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat, was seen at Caterham’s HQ in the UK this week.
The future of current Caterham driver Giedo van der Garde looks more secure at the team with reports Esteban Gutierrez will be maintained by Sauber for 2014.
The Dutchman has more backing and was the quicker of the two men at the end of the season, however, Pic puts that down to troubles he had with the car late in the season.
“This was his debut season,” said Pic, “so it seems logical that he made progress.
“Prior to India, I was regularly in front of him, and with a significant advantage.
“In the last three races Giedo had more success than me, but that was because I had a lot of mechanical problems,” he argues.
The Frenchman also puts a lot of influence on the financial situation with his backing from Lagardere not as strong as most.
“Given the nature of the driver market at the end of the season,” he told France’s Auto Hebdo, “I knew that the decision would not be taken quickly.
“Small teams in particular wait for the decisions of their more competitive rivals,” added Pic.
“For me it would be logical to stay at Caterham, but you can never be sure about anything in Formula One, the contract with Caterham is my first priority, but there are other options,” he revealed.
“Honestly, at the end of the season, we saw that the main problem was not the drivers, but the financial situation.”
Another potential move in the driver market is Marussia reserve Rodolfo Gonzalez who has revealed an offer to become a Pirelli test driver in 2014.
“First there are other options that I would like to explore, so fortunately, I can make a decision about the offer in February or March, as I really want to stay in Formula One,” Gonzalez told reporters.
“I think in two years I will accept the offers to race in categories such as in the US and Europe, but at the moment I prefer to wait and stay.”
Gonzalez is another man who benefits from backing from Venezuelan oil giant PDVSA and in the few practice outings he has had his times have been very slow however, Marussia boss John Booth insists Gonzalez does deserve his place in F1.
“He has nothing to prove,” he insisted.
“Perhaps he is lacking a little bit of consistency, but he is a formula one driver and he knows what he’s doing,” said the Briton.
“He has helped us a lot,” added Booth.
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