Team: Caterham F1 Team
Car No.: 45
Podiums (excluding wins): 0
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Championship Position: 24th
Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)
Andre Lotterer’s debut certainly came out of left field, given that he last piloted an F1 car in 2003 and he had since made his name in sportscars with Audi, but it was refreshing to see someone from another discipline try his hand in Formula 1.
With Caterham, Lotterer didn’t stand a great chance of making a huge impression, but he did manage to outqualify Marcus Ericsson despite the Swede having 11 races in the Caterham car under his belt up to that point. It was an impressive result, even if his race lasted just a single lap due to a problem on the car.
Lotterer was offered more races, but turned them down. He had made his F1 debut and tried his hand in the top single seater series – it was all he needed to do.
Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)
Andre Lotterer certainly didn’t need to make his F1 debut to add to his glowing resume in Le Mans lore and in Super Formula in Japan, but when asked if he was up for it at Spa, he jumped at the chance. Granted, Caterham’s financial waters were starting to seem murky at the time and Lotterer really had nothing to gain from the experience, but he seized the moment. The German outqualified teammate Marcus Ericsson by nearly a second and didn’t get to finish ahead of him afterwards as his car quit on him on his opening lap. But he had enjoyed the weekend.
Much had changed for the German in-between when he was on the doorstep of an F1 career in 2002 and 2003, with Jaguar, and where he is today. Who knows whether Jaguar would have ever given him an opportunity, and where that might have led given the team’s evolution into the Red Bull juggernaut. But Lotterer can now say he’s started a Grand Prix, and can add that stat to a career that has became so successful in other disciplines.