Andre Lotterer may have told fans not to expect too much from him on his F1 debut this weekend, but he has made a very good start during practice for the Belgian Grand Prix today.
Despite only stepping into the Caterham car for the first time during FP1 on Friday morning, Lotterer was immediately matching full-time teammate Marcus Ericsson’s efforts, finishing ahead of him by one-tenth of a second in the first session.
FP2 saw him finish behind Ericsson, albeit only by half a tenth, and his running was cut short after an electrical problem developed on his car.
Given the troublesome nature of the Caterham CT-05 car, it was an admirable effort from Lotterer to jump into the car and immediately be on the pace, and testament to his credentials as a premier racing driver.
The German has made his name in sportscars, winning Le Mans three times with Audi. He did test a Formula 1 car back in 2002 for Jaguar, but this was his last attempt before today’s practice session.
Lotterer’s efforts will raise questions about Marcus Ericsson’s suitability for Caterham. The Swede has endured a difficult rookie year in Formula 1, and to immediately be beaten by a driver that has not driven the car before may be cause for concern.
This is set to be Lotterer’s only appearance for Caterham, with regular driver Kamui Kobayashi returning for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in two weeks’ time.