Crash.Net GP2 News
Canamasas fills remaining Caterham seat
15 March 2013
Sergio Canamasas has been announced as the second driver in the Caterham Racing team for the upcoming 2013 GP2 Series season, which gets underway next weekend at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.
Canamasas had already spent all six days of pre-season testing at Jerez and Barcelona with Caterham, and had been the odds-on favourite to clinch the race seat despite not exactly setting the timesheets alight with his performances in the rain-hit sessions which only let up for the final day at the Circuit de Catalunya.
"I am happy that Sergio has signed to drive for the team," said Caterham Racing Chief Engineer Humphrey Corbett. "I feel that we did not see his full potential during the pre season tests.
"To some extent this was due to his uncertainty surrounding the season ahead," Corbett added. "But once his decision was made, we saw a glimpse of the real Sergio as he consistently ran in the top five during the morning of the final day in Barcelona."
Canamasas has already enjoyed a taste of the GP2 competition, after stepping in at Venezuela GP Lazarus for the last five race weekends of the 2012 season from Germany onwards, replacing the team's original driver Fabrizio Crestani.
"We are very pleased to have Sergio driving for Caterham Racing and he brings some GP2 experience from the ten races he completed last year," said Caterham team manager Phill Spencer. "We look forward to supporting him and see no reason why he cannot consistently score points following his performance on the final day of testing in Barcelona."
"Sergio has great potential," agreed Corbett. "Although he is still relatively inexperienced in GP2, he has a good feel for the car, provides valuable feedback and he has already built a good relationship with his engineer Patrick."
Canamasas did blot his copybook on his final outing of last season in Singapore, however, when he failed to obey radio instructions and waved flags from pit lane ordering him to serve a penalty until it was too late, leading to his being disqualified from the sprint race. The 24-year-old Spaniard will be keen to draw a line under that embarrassing and bizarre incident, and start a new chapter at Caterham in 2013.
"For me driving with Caterham Racing for a full season in GP2 this season is very exciting," said the driver. "My work with the team in Jerez was a good opportunity to get to know everyone and work on the car setup. We found a good balance, and I feel I can still get more out of the car, which is very positive.
"My winter training means that I feel physically and mentally prepared and I will arrive in Malaysia in good shape," he added. "I look forward to a competitive season in GP2 with Caterham Racing, so see you all in Malaysia."
Canamasas will be joined on the starting grid by Ma Qing Hua, who last year became the first Chinese driver to participate in a F1 Grand Prix weekend when he turned out as the test and reserve driver for the now-defunct HRT team.
With both seats at Caterham now filled, there are only five spots as-yet unconfirmed on the grid, with less than seven days to go before the GP2 teams fire up their engines for the first time at Sepang.
Both Trident Racing and Hilmer Motorsports have yet to unveil any of their drivers for the forthcoming season, and newest GP2 team Russian Time are still to decide who will be joining Tom Dillmann in their line-up.
2013 confirmed driver line-up
DAMS - Marcus Ericsson, Stéphane Richelmi
ART GP (formerly Lotus GP) - James Calado, Daniel Abt
Arden - Johnny Cecotto Jr., Mitch Evans
Racing Engineering - Julian Leal, Fabio Leimer
Carlin - Felipe Nasr, Jolyon Palmer
Russian Time - Tom Dillmann, TBA
Caterham Racing - Ma Qing Hua, Sergio Canamasas
Barwa Addx - Jake Rosenzweig, Rio Haryanto
Rapax - Stefano Coletti, Simon Trummer
Trident Racing - TBA, TBA
Hilmer Motorport - TBA, TBA
Venezuela GP Lazarus - Rene Binder, Kevin Giovesi
MP Motorsport - Adrian Quaife-Hobbs, Daniël de Jong