Section: Caterham

F1: Caterham’s administrators will not fund testing if buyer is not found

Caterham’s administrators will not fund the team to attend the first pre-season test if a buyer is not found in time.

The team went into administration in October and made 230 staff redundant.

Testing starts on 1 February at Jerez with the first race of the season taking place in Australia on 15 March.

“Talks with interested parties continue, but if a buyer is not found before the test, we will not put up the money to go,” joint administrator Henry Shinners told BBC Sport.

“I wouldn’t rule anything out but if we reach the first race in the same position, the chances of saving the team are virtually nil.”

Caterham missed the United States and Brazilian Grands Prix after entering administration.

However, a successful crowd-funding project saw them compete at the season finale in Abu Dhabi, where they failed to finish in the points with Will Stevens or Kamui Kobayashi.

In December, Shinners, of London firm Smith & Williamson, said they were in talks with three buyers.

Those same buyers remain interested, with talks planned for later this week, but a formal offer has yet to be made.

Shinners said there was a meeting of the team’s creditors on 22 December where they voted in favour of the administrators’ proposals, which broadly speaking were to continue to try to find a buyer for the team.

Caterham were able to get the team ready to compete in Abu Dhabi in just two weeks, but with many of their staff now in new jobs, that timeframe will likely increase for an attempt to compete in the first race of the season.

“We need to start moving in the next few weeks if a deal is going to get over the line,” added Shinners.

If Caterham find a buyer and make it onto the 2015 grid, they will need to re-employ staff and sign two new drivers.

Read more at BBC Sport

F1: Caterham allowed to run 2014 car in 2015

Caterham will be allowed to run this year’s car in 2015 if it can find a buyer ahead of the new season.

The Leafield team, which returned from a two-race absence to compete at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, remains in administration. Running an old chassis next season would reduce pressure on new buyers to build a new car with the start of pre-season testing just two months away and should be ratified at Wednesday’s meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Qatar.

Finbarr O’Connell, joint administrator for the team, said of the old chassis allowance: “That is of interest to all the parties I’m talking to. It gives them a choice, an easier start to get into F1. The F1 Commission and FIA agreed if it would assist the weaker teams they can use the 2014 car next year, so giving them more time and options. It’s a very difficult purchase decision for any party because of the huge costs involved in running an F1 team.”

Caterham went into administration in October and last month made 230 staff redundant. O’Connell says there are still several parties interested in purchasing the team ahead of the new season.

“[Finding a buyer] before Christmas would still be ideal. It now doesn’t have to happen by then, but the earlier the better from my point of view, and I’m encouraging people as much as I can. It’s a very difficult purchase decision for any party because of the huge costs involved in running a F1 team. I’m still talking to a few interested parties, and I’m hoping one of them can do the deal.

“The number of people I’m talking to has increased, with two very strong candidates, and a third less strong. All I can do is show what I have, show the team, the assets and the facilities, and facilitate in any way I can with them making a decision. I remain confident something will be done.”

Read more at ESPN

F1: Caterham hands Stevens debut in Abu Dhabi

Caterham has confirmed Will Stevens will race alongside Kamui Kobayashi as the team makes its return at this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Caterham entered administration last month but has raised enough funds via a crowd-sourcing website to arrive in Abu Dhabi this weekend. Its participation should help protect its entry for 2015, which is its most valuable asset, as the administrators look for a buyer to take on the team.

Stevens tested the Caterham at the Silverstone test after the British Grand Prix this year and was lined up to drive a Marussia in Japan before problems with his getting his superlicence on time. However, Caterham confirmed on Thursday ahead of this weekend’s race that Stevens was ready and able to race in Abu Dhabi.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be getting this opportunity and am very grateful to everyone involved at Caterham F1 Team for giving it to me,” Stevens said. “I feel ready for the challenge of my F1 debut and 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 Leafield in the sim. Hopefully this will be something we will be able to carry through to the 2015 season together”.

Gianluca Pisanello, Caterham F1 Team head of engineering operations added: “We know Will very well through his involvement in the Caterham Racing Academy and more importantly he has done a vast amount of time in our simulator, completing around 10,000km, which has built his experience both of this year’s car and with the engineering team that are going to Abu Dhabi. In addition, his 2014 test at Silverstone in our current car, where he completed over 500kms, was very successful and his race pace was very good. As a result, he was one of our best candidates for this race weekend and we are delighted to have secured his services for our return to the F1 grid. We in fact signed Will last week but have had to wait for confirmation of his Super licence before making our announcement.”

Read more at ESPN

F1: Caterham to race in Abu Dhabi finale after fundraising success

Caterham’s administrator says the team will race at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix following the success of a public crowd-funding project.

The team went into administration last month and had been seeking to raise £2.35m in order to return to action.

“We set ourselves a major challenge, but it’s been worth it. In only a week the fans have made the impossible possible,” Finbarr O’Connell said.

Caterham sat out the last two grands prix in the United States andBrazil.

Although the team is currently just under £500,000 short of its target, sponsors have come on board to make up the shortfall.

The crowd-funding initiative offered rewards to investors ranging from Caterham-branded earplugs and caps through to used race suits and carbon engine covers.

O’Connell, representing administrator Smith & Williamson, added: “We knew that the best way to keep this team alive and attract possible buyers was to show that it’s still a racing team and be in Abu Dhabi for the finale.

“There aren’t enough words to say how grateful we are to all the fans who have made this possible.

“We now head to Abu Dhabi ready to show what a hard-working and positive group of people this is and to hopefully secure a future for the team.”

Read more at BBC Sport

F1: Caterham team hands over management to administrators

 The bosses of Caterham F1 have formally agreed to hand over the running of the team to administrators.

Control of the Oxfordshire site where the cars are made has been given to London firm Smith & Williamson.

Caterham say they took the decision “in the higher interest of allowing the team to continue operating and preparing for the next events”.

But the chief administrator says he fears the team will not compete at the US Grand Prix in Austin on 2 November.

Finnbarr O’Connell of Smith & Williamson said: “I really need them to come to me with an acceptable figure [to offer their creditors] so they can gain access again to [the factory at] Leafield.

“It’s very important to us they race, but for the creditors of Caterham Sports Ltd, it’s not up to them to fund racing.”

The administrators had already been working on behalf of the creditors of Caterham Sports Ltd, a company which makes and supplies cars to 1MRT, the entity which owns the licence to race in Formula 1.

They have now also been placed in charge of 1MRT, with a long-term view to finding a buyer for the troubled constructor.

O’Connell confirmed he was now acting as de facto team principal.

“I think that is the case,” he said. “I did ask 1MRT on Thursday if they would be willing to [hand over management responsibilities] in order for me to try and find a new financial backer for the team, so this is their reaction to my request.”

O’Connell added that re-opening the team’s factory depended on finding a financial backer.

“Our objective is to get this team racing on a proper financial standing,” he said. “Hopefully if a funder comes through, this team can run again.

“I have spoken to people who are interested in taking over the Leafield factory, and the staff being employed there.

“It’s early days, but there is a major hope that all of that can happen.”

Read more on BBC Sport


F1: Caterham pledge to race in Japan Grand Prix despite bailiffs visit

The Caterham team say they will race at the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend despite bailiffs visiting their base.

Team sources say the visit to their Oxfordshire site on Wednesday is not related to the F1 team.

“All operations are currently in place at Leafield and the race team is doing its preparation in Japan,” a team statement said.

Caterham, who are joint last in the constructors’ standings, laid off more than 40 staff in July.

The current action concerns a supplier to parent company MRT1, Caterham said in a statement, refuting “uncontrolled rumours” the team’s involvement in Formula 1 would be affected.

The team changed ownership in July when it was sold by Malaysian entrepreneur Tony Fernandes to a consortium of Swiss and Middle Eastern investors, leading to the job losses.

Chief executive officer Christijan Albers stepped down in September.

Caterham, whose current drivers are Japan’s Kamui Kobayashi and Sweden’s Marcus Ericsson, have not scored a point in their three seasons on the grid.

Their Leafield factory previously housed Super Aguri and Arrows, two former Formula 1 teams who were forced to quit the sport due to financial problems.

Read more on BBC Sport