Caterham set to miss two Grand Prix as future remains unclear


The Caterham F1 Team have been given special dispensation by Formula 1 Supremo Bernie Ecclestone to skip the next two Grand Prix in the United States and Brazil as they continue to strive to secure their future.

Although they could still find their way onto the grid for the two races in the Americas, the administrators admit they had spoken to Ecclestone about possibly missing the two races as they seek a new buyer with the finances in place that would mean the team would be able to continue to race in Formula 1.

“In a telephone conversation today between Finbarr O’Connell and Bernie Ecclestone, Mr Ecclestone agreed to support the administrators in their wish to sell the Formula 1 team to a party with the financial strength to sustain it into the future,” said the statement from the administrators.

“Mr Ecclestone also agreed to give dispensation to Caterham F1 such that it could if necessary miss the US and Brazilian Grand Prix but hoped that a new owner would be in a position to race the team at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.”

Smith & Williamson, the administrators currently in charge at Caterham, are hopeful a buyer will be found ahead of the season finale in Abu Dhabi at the end of November, with a number of buyers apparently interested in taking over the struggling team.

The administrators have also agreed terms to acquire the share capital of 1MRT, the Malaysian company that holds the licence to participate in Formula 1, and O’Connell believes this is essential to aid their ongoing plans to sell the team to investors.

“We believe this arrangement gives us a much better chance of being able to reach a better conclusion for the racing team and its creditors,” said O’Connell.

“While this is a great step forward in making the whole team and assets more attractive, there is no need for the staff of 1MRT to return to the Oxford site in Leafield until a sale of the Formula 1 team occurs.

“This is a difficult situation which is not of our making. We regret any personal impact on 1MRT’s employees. As administrators for CSL, we are seeking to maximise the outcome for its creditors and other stakeholders.”

Henry Shinners, the other administrator for Smith & Williamson, insists the purchasing of the shares of 1MRT will mean any buyer will have the immediate opportunity to race in Formula 1.

“Purchasing the assets would give the buyer ready access to F1 racing,” said Shinners. “This includes the Formula 1 licence, the racing cars, the designs and intellectual property for current and future seasons plus the workforce and all of the technical support provided to the racing team by CSL from the Leafield Technical Centre,”