Caterham sign Britain's Will Stevens for Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Will Stevens
Stevens is contesting his third season in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series

England's Will Stevens will make his Formula 1 debut in this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, partnering Kamui Kobayashi at Caterham.

Caterham missed the last two races because of financial problems, but will compete at the season-ending race thanks to a crowdfunding project.

Stevens was previously part of the Caterham Racing Academy and has twice tested for the Formula 1 team.

"I'm ready for the challenge of my F1 debut," said the 23-year-old.

"I look forward to working as part of the team in a race environment after all the work we've done together previously in the tests I've completed and back at [the team's factory in] Leafield in the simulator.

"Hopefully this will be something we will be able to carry through to the 2015 season together."

Will Stevens's career
Will Stevens has spent three seasons in the Formula Renault 3.5 series, scoring two victories this year to finish sixth in the championship
The 23-year-old tested for Caterham in the 2013 and 2014 Formula 1 in-season tests at Silverstone, clocking up over 1,100km (690 miles)

Caterham's head of engineering operations Gianluca Pisanello said: "Will has done a vast amount of time in our simulator, completing around 10,000km (6,200 miles).

"In addition, his 2014 test at Silverstone in our current car, where he completed over 500km (310 miles), was very successful and his race pace was very good."

Pisanello added the team had completed the deal last week but had to wait for confirmation of his super licence, which is required to take part in a grand prix weekend.

Swede Marcus Ericsson, who has driven alongside Kobayashi for most of the season, terminated his Caterham contract with immediate effect earlier this week.

Caterham was put into administration last month and the man now running the team, Finbarr O'Connell, said he had made the effort to get them to Abu Dhabi to "showcase" the team for potential buyers, who wanted to see that Caterham could still be a functioning race team.

"I am talking to three or four who have the financial wherewithal to do this and people sit on the fence," he said.

"They wonder: 'Is it a good idea?' The staff start to drift away. They just think: 'What are we buying? Is it a licence and the idea of a team, or is it a real team?' It is effectively showcasing it and proving it is a real team."

There is still a legal dispute between the team's founder Tony Fernandes and the organisation that agreed to buy it from the Malaysian businessman in the summer.

But O'Connell said that did not affect any potential buyer because his legal advice was that Fernandes was the legal owner of the shares of 1MRT, the company that owns the F1 entry, and had agreed to hand its ownership over to the administrator.

O'Connell said the sale would be of both the team's factory in Oxfordshire, which is owned by a separate company called Caterham Sports Ltd, and 1MRT.

Abu Dhabi GP coverage details

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