The Marussia F1 Team seems to be becoming something of a safe haven for Caterham F1 Team drivers, with first Alexander Rossi, and now Will Stevens joining its test and reserve driver ranks.

The Banbury-based team has confirmed that Stevens, 23, will make his Grand Prix debut in tomorrow’s opening practice session for the Japanese Grand Prix in place of Max Chilton. Stevens follows in the footsteps of fellow ex-Caterham test driver Alexander Rossi, who quit the team and joined Marussia as a reserve driver after it was sold mid-season by team founder Tony Fernandes.

It’s barely been four months since Stevens was given a call-up to drive for Caterham in the post-British Grand Prix in-season test at Silverstone, but it now looks like that marriage has come to an end.

Stevens is currently contesting his third season in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series championship, and claimed his first win at the season-opener in Monza, followed by further podium finishes at Aragon and Spa-Francorchamps. No further podium finishes have been forthcoming, placing him a distant sixth in the Drivers’ Championship standings.

The announcement is very ‘last-minute’, rather highlighting Marussia’s own perilous financial affairs as one would have to assume that Stevens’ backers must have stumped up a hefty amount of cash for him to displace the very well-supported Chilton for 90 minutes of on-track running. The Englishman was snapped having a seat-fitting performed in the team garages today.

Image via Sutton Images

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.