File this one under the “out of left field” category. Autosport’s Jon Noble reported Monday that three-time and reigning 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Andre Lotterer, also a World Champion in the FIA World Endurance Championship, could make a shock Formula One debut with Caterham at this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.
The car’s expected to have significant upgrades and Noble reported that bringing in a fresh face to the team could help. Lotterer would replace Kamui Kobayashi, who coincidentally, he raced against in the FIA WEC last season.
Lotterer has past ties to the new management group at Caterham. As a rookie at Le Mans in 2009, Lotterer drove with Colin Kolles’ customer Audi R10 TDI program, and the sister car was driven by Christijan Albers. Albers and Kolles are now involved with Caterham, having been identified in the management shake-up earlier this year.
Both Lotterer’s main program, Audi Sport, and his Super Formula effort would need to sign off on the deal to allow it to happen.
The move would be a surprise. Lotterer, the 32-year-old German, served as Jaguar’s test driver in 2002, taking over for Tomas Scheckter in the role. But he never sniffed a race seat.
If it happens, this would be the first in-season driver change of 2014. Each of the last two years, there’s been only one, both times at Lotus (Jerome d’Ambrosio in for Romain Grosjean at the 2012 Italian Grand Prix and Heikki Kovalainen in for Kimi Raikkonen at last year’s United States and Brazilian Grands Prix).