Merhi, Stevens get Suzuka FP1 outings with Caterham, Marussia

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Caterham was in the news Wednesday for other reasons (assets seized), but it will have some driver news afoot as well ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix.

Roberto Merhi will have another run in the team’s CT03-Renault chassis, replacing Kamui Kobayashi. It’s unfortunate for Kobayashi, who will lose a session at his home Grand Prix, but at least the Japanese driver will have the rest of the weekend to get on with it.

“I want to thank the team for this opportunity – after my first outing a month ago in Italy, I am now looking forward to another 90 minutes in the car,” Merhi said, via the official Formula One website. “I will not be starting from zero like last time, so I will be able to get up to speed quicker.”

Interestingly another young driver will be in FP1 on Friday, in the form of Will Stevens.

If you remember his name, he’s the Englishman originally signed to Caterham’s young driver program earlier this year, and tested at Silverstone. Yet like Alexander Rossi, who’s fled Caterham for Marussia, Stevens has now turned up with Marussia for this race.

The news was reported by Autosport, with formal confirmation and a decision as to whether Stevens will be filling in for Max Chilton or Jules Bianchi to be revealed on Thursday.