Marcus Ericsson will not be behind the wheel for Caterham, irrespective of what happens with the team’s attempt to get onto the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix grid next weekend via crowdfunding.
The Swedish driver made his Grand Prix debut this year with the Leafield-based squad, but has missed out on the last two races at Austin and Interlagos while the beleaguered squad was placed into administration.
His future for 2015 is secure, however, as he is confirmed to join Sauber alongside Felipe Nasr in the lead-up to the Brazilian Grand Prix last weekend.
The 24-year-old has, however, seemingly grown too frustrated with the current state of affairs at Caterham and announced that he has severed all ties with the team with immediate effect.
“Following recent events re Caterham Sports Limited and 1 MRT Sdn Bhd, my adviser Eje Elgh and I have decided to terminate, with immediate effect, all agreements connecting me to the Caterham F1 team,” he wrote on his official website.
“This is a sad day as we have greatly enjoyed working with the team through a difficult and tough season.
“I wish to thank Colin Kolles, Manfredi Ravetto, Cyril Abiteboul and every other member of the Caterham F1 team for your trust and confidence in me, and for making my first Formula 1 season an educational and unforgettable experience.
“In addition, I thank my good friend and team-mate Kamui Kobayashi for being an inspiring benchmark throughout the year, and hope to see him back on the track soon.”
The Caterham F1 Team’s administrators have achieved surpassed 50% of the £2.35 million amount it hopes to raise in order to return to the grid and secure tenth place in the Constructors’ Championship standings.
Meanwhile, SKY Sports are claiming that – should Caterham somehow make it to Abu Dhabi – that British female racer Alice Powell could drive for the team at the Yas Marina Circuit, possibly for the entire weekend.
Should this be the case, she would be the first female racer to attempt to qualify for a Grand Prix since 1992 and the first to race since 1976. The 21-year-old is the 2010 Formula Renault BARC champion and former GP3 Series racer. She is the only woman to have achieved a points’ finish in the latter, albeit in a crash-filled race at Abu Dhabi two years ago.
According to reports in the Daily Mail tabloid, Powell’s grandfather, Jim Fraser, is offering upwards of £35,000 for Powell to drive in FP1.
Powell would have to achieve an FIA Super License qualification in order to drive in FP1 – let alone beyond – and will not have the opportunity to drive a minimum 300 kilometres of testing in the interim to get rubber-stamped by the FIA. Special dispensation can be afforded if a driver demonstrates strong enough results in junior category championships, but her pedigree is hardly worthy of qualification.
Images via GP3 Media Service and XPB Images