Caterham Monza driver lineup remains a mystery

Caterham pitstop

The Caterham team are yet to confirm who will drive their second car at this weekend's Italian Grand Prix.

Regular driver Kamui Kobayashi lost his spot for the Belgian Grand Prix, where he was replaced by three-time Le Mans winner Andre Lotterer. The German did an admirable job in qualifying, beating team-mate Marcus Ericsson, but dropped out of the race after just one lap.

Kobayashi is not expected to return for Monza, with Caterham keen to field former DTM driver Roberto Merhi. The Spaniard's backers are believed to have raised sufficient funds to place him in the seat this weekend, but the 23-year-old has not yet been issued with a superlicence. Though Merhi should have earned this by dint of winning the 2011 F3 Euro Series, it is believed that the FIA are concerned about a driver making his debut at the ultra-fast Monza circuit.

In his place the team could run another Spaniard, Red Bull junior driver Carlos Sainz Jr., who has been linked to a spot at Caterham for some time. Sainz has tested F1 machinery for Red Bull and Toro Rosso, making him a more experienced choice than Merhi. However any deal would depend on gaining his backer's agreement.

If neither Spaniard can take the seat it remains possible that Lotterer will return for Monza. The German does not have clashing commitments in either the World Endurance Championship or Japan's Super Formula series, and after his strong showing at Spa could be seen as a safe pair of hands.

Swedish rookie Ericsson will retain his seat, despite being beaten by debutant Lotterer, thanks to his financial backing. The deposed Kobayashi was brining no funding to his seat, while Lotterer has some support from energy drink company Hype.

Having changed owners earlier this year, Caterham currently sit bottom of the World Championship with seven rounds remaining.