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Caterham F1 team to compete in Abu Dhabi as administrator says: “Let’s go racing!”
Posted By: Justin Hynes  |  14 Nov 2014   |  3:45 pm GMT  |  126 comments

The troubled Caterham F1 team, which has been in administration since October, has issued a statement saying that the team will race at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after apparently being successful with their crowdfunding initiative.

The team’s statement read: “The Caterham F1 Team is delighted to announce that it will be racing at the final Formula 1 Grand Prix of the season in Abu Dhabi next week thanks to the support of the fans, who have helped the team raise enough money.”

The objective is to complete the season, collect the US$10 million in prize money owing to the team and then attempt to use that platform of a team as a going concern to complete a sale.

The team has debts of around US$12-15 million, but has not gone into liquidation, as its rival Marussia team did. With Marussia no longer a going concern there will be discussions about whether Caterham therefore is classified 10th in the championship despite scoring no points, while Marussia was 9th with 2 points and in line for US$50 million in prize money as a result if it had kept going.

The last minute announcement before the freight has to leave Heathrow for Abu Dhabi, came about due to a driver contract being finalised, which brought with it the necessary funding to make up the shortfall from the crowd funding exercise which raised over half of the target £2.35 million needed to make the Abu Dhabi trip.

Renault is one of the main creditors, but sources in the French manufacturer implied to this site at the weekend that, if the team made it to Abu Dhabi, it would supply engines ‘for the good of the sport”

The joint administrator of Caterham Sports Limited Finbarr O’Connell, who appears to have dropped the ‘interim team principal’ he adopted in recent weeks said: “We set ourselves a major challenge, but it’s definitely been worth it! In only a week the fans have made the impossible, possible. 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, and there aren’t enough words to say how grateful we are to all the fans that have made this possible.

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“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,” he added. “During the past few days the interest of many potential buyers has increased massively and by racing in Abu Dhabi the team will be showcasing itself as a live and functioning team that deserves to continue into 2015 and beyond.  It has hard-working people, team spirit and experience and now it only needs a secure financial future which I’m very hopeful we can achieve.  Once again, I’d like to reiterate that we are racing in Abu Dhabi thanks to all the fans out there – an achievement that will go down in F1 history and one that we can all be very proud of. Let’s go racing!”

It remains to be seen who would race the team’s cars at the Yas Marina Circuit. Swede Marcus Ericsson this week severed all links with the team, while Kamui Kobayashi’s commitment is uncertain. Former GP3 driver Alice Powell has been mentioned as a possible driver but question marks remain over whether she would be able to obtain a superlicence in time.

Earlier today O’Connell told Reuters that a number of drivers are in the frame for seats, saying that he has had talks with a number of drivers, some with Formula One experience and others in need of a superlicence. He did not reveal any names.

O’Connell admitted that the team still needs to raise some funding to reach its goals but as teams begin to pack-up for the trip to the Yas Marina Circuit, it seems that for the moment beleaguered Caterham will be joining them.





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Gold is the one asset that has stood the take a look at of time for portfolio diversification and safety.


What is Finbarr O Connell Agenda

We are Sceptical like other parties about the crowd cube funding, as it looks to us as a PR stunt in order to boost crowd cube profile, which in turn will aid Finbarr O’Connell’s company Smith and Williamson who act as accountants for the same.

We have considerable experience investigating the insolvency sector and we know that whenever any monies are available for distribution to creditors they always get paid out after the Administrators have taken their fees, which is always in our opinion disproportionate to work carried out. Finbarr’s trip to Abu Dhabi and acting as team principle will certainly be in the region of £50,000 to £100,000 which he clearly knows will be available at some point even by sales of assets or he would not have made the trip.

All Administrators and insolvency practitioners, before they take on an appointment, look at the situation and assess the potential for fee generation.

It is agreed that the route Mr O’Connell has gone down from the outset does look a good idea, as it is much easier to sell something that is working, running and racing in F1. But anyone with any commercial sense would know buying this F1 team is not the answer.

Like yourselves we will continue to follow the progress of Mr O’Connell as we have no doubt that sooner or later he will have to show his cards.



First points for Marussia and the points that would have earned them all that cash. Apparently, it wouldn’t have been enough to to keep them afloat but crazy to now think that Sauber and/or cater ham could qualify as 9th and earn some prize cash even if they don’t score a point.

Ruins one of the big feel-good stories of the season.


Huge shame that Marussia couldn’t stick around long enough to claim their prize money. Such a huge shame that Bianchi’s heroics will all be for nothing.


@ kris…bianchi’s heroics?


@ deankreynolds…… my point was simple. bianchi’s heroics in the wet and the subsequent fallout surely contributed to the demise of the team. nothing controversial there. as a comment on another post, so what? people do have conflicting ideas. so much has been written about bianchi’s accident but not so much regarding the events that led up to the actual event. in my own interpretation i see bianchi as having pretty much ignored the dangerous conditions which resulted in a major incident. any chances of marussia finishing the season were most likely blown at that point.

as for your stomach problem? well there are many different products out there in the pharmacies that may help. if the condition persists seek medical advice…or stop reading my posts hahaha


Keneth, Kenneth, Kenneth…….. can you not find it in yourself to acknowledge ANYTHING good about ANYTHING some else says? your posts are most entertaining but you do churn my stomach a little…. still… live and let live huh


Marussia had been in a paying Constructor’s championship position mostly due to Bianchi’s race results all season.

That is, until the accident in Japan.


Shouldn’t it be, “Let’s go running, or let’s go participate, or we’re back, baybee!!!!”? Good luck to them, anyway. Give it your best! Hold off one of the top runners when you are all on the same lap.


James, what are the chances that we’ll see Rubens Barrichello as a driver for the team? Would be good to see him back to get a proper sendoff.


Rubens? The driver who flopped in IndyCars two years ago? He and Caterham have no business showing up. Tried and failed. Move on.


@ damian….surely we’ve seen the last of barrichello? this guy was a complete embarrassment towards the end of his career. he still thinks that he should be in F1. if he is correct,why don’t i see even one team knocking on his door. the only way he’ll get a drive is to pay big $$$ or drive for free. either way, demeaning.


ooops, should read ‘at williams….’


@ lohani…. thanks for the response. barrichello was never a favourite of mine. in fact i didn’t like him one bit. he was always whining about the unfair treatment at ferrari when it came to him and shumacher. despite this he stayed and took the big $$$ when if he was genuine he would’ve walked. he also had an inflated sense of his own importance and this showed up many time times to his detriment. at eilliams he claimed early on how much influence he had on the car and the performance but when it all went to ‘merde’ all he could do was diss on the team!

sorry, but he should just gracefully disappear from the scene. do something else.he tried indy cars and he flopped and couldn’t get a second drive. he supposedly tried tin tops and flopped as well? this latter point would need to be confirmed. he is a rich man, surely he can move on.


That being said, I would agree if he does one year and gets a proper departure from F1. The guy has the most number of grand prix starts (if it hasn’t been surpassed yet). Even if he doesn’t get a drive, a proper farewell to him from the F1 fraternity would be good. Of course, I was always on MS’ side of the garage when he was at Ferrari, but Rubens deserves proper acknowledgement for this contributions to the sport in my view.

We Schumacher fans are cut from something else apart. We give credit where it’s due, attempt to see (and will as far as our abilities go) to acknowledge all sides of the story. MS would be proud. Keep fighting Michael!

Although this comment is in response to Kenneth, it only goes as far as the first paragraph. I’m not disagreeing; just giving my view on that as well. Cheers 🙂


James, I’ve always been slow, but I still can’t get this right in my head. On one side I read that F1 profits are in the region of one billion pounds, on the other side we’ve got what’s effectively is a charity-funded F1 team heading to the Grand Finale. Though I’m happy for Caterham, I think something is gone insane in this business. Maybe I’m just slow to get things right…


Far from being slow you’ve just summed it up perfectly 🙂


caterham is a miniature ferrari in that they race in f1 while selling road performance cars so they have the best chance of survival. imagine how successful they could be if they expanded their road car program and moved up to midfield, it could snowball them up front if they ploughed their track day car revenue back into their f1 project.

i think tony fernandez should buy it back and make it work.


Hi aveli, from what I can find on the ever reliable interweb, I think caterham f1 and Caterham cars are separate businesses. It looks like Tony fernandes still owns Caterham car, but sold the F1 team.

I doubt Fernandes will be looking to buy back into F1, he’s tipped a huge amount of money in, with little sucess. I’d like to see the Caterham F1 team survive (under any name), but if they don’t, I hope it doesn’t harm Caterham Cars.


i somehow don’t understand you. fernandez did announce that he had sold the caterham f1 team because it was possible and just as equally possible for him to announce that he has bought it back. as far as success is concerned, how did you measure caterham’ success? am I wrong to say caterham did have some success? as far as am concerned, through f1, caterham were able to announce the extension of their road car program, displaying numerous pictures of their future cars which many f1 fans around the world including myself showed interest in. if that is not success, i don’t know what success is. this is e same business model as ferrari’s, but at a smaller scale. if fernandez buys the team back and race without scoring points, they’d still sell more road or trackday cars than if they didn’t take part in f1 at all.


Thank goodness, who said F1 was in a crisis?


Ok, this is a one off race idea, but it is great for fan involvement and interest. Makes people feel part of a team which surely is a good thing. I bet lots of people will be rooting for Caterham at Abu Dhabi.

I don’t get the paddock naysayers – they are the sad folk for not supporting this, not Caterham. It’s not a long term strategy but for a way to secure a season ending performance with fan engagement it’s a good thing.

I remember back in the early 90s when, I think, the March team went to all the local Montreal local businesses for weekend sponsorship at the Canadian GP. Lots of small stickers for restaurants and the like on the car. This is the modern equivalent.


Well done to them for pulling it off and at least cause Bernie a bit of a headache.


‘Compete’ – finally, after 5 years??

This is all about the 10 million. Administrators got YOU to invest 2.5m in THEM so they can bag the 10m, fold the team and pay people off, taking a nice slice for themselves.

The team is finished, a rolling corpse.



AND……could it not be about the team itself, 100-200 staff members, jobs, dependant families etc…?

Why so negative, if people are giving away your money one could understand but they have given/donated their own money to their own personal “cause”….

Good on them, good on the team.

It is possible you are right and we probably all know it could be the way you see it but in my experience you tend to get back the same vibes you put out so I choose to focus on the positive side and trust that it will prevail.

I wish the team all the very best and hope some thing positive can come out of this stressful time for them.

Be nice for them to stick it too Bernie and all the other “personalities” that wont give an inch on the funding embarrassment that is F1.


Better to be able to sell the team as a going concern. Selling and renaming teams isn’t at all unusual – two name changes ago mercedes was honda, red bull was stewart then jaguar, sauber was sauber then bmw, so the Fernandez experiment under the Caterham name hasn’t worked out, hopefully someone will pick up the team and turn it into something more successful – and we don’t wind up with three car teams for the ‘top’ teams and no points for the current midfield.


Disappointed in some people being against a team trying to finish the season.20 cars is better than 18 and we do not know what will happen, did anyone see a Maurussia finishing 9th at Monaco? Did anyone see Sauber scoring 0 points? Did anyone see Ferrari not winning? We do not know if there is a backer, however if you were going to sell the team where better than the Middle East and the UAE? So before some of you go “con”, remember we only hear 1/2 the story.


Yep, disappointed. Evidently there are a lot of old farts here that don’t “get” social media, crowdfunding, and probably any other newfangled things. Or maybe its just that Brit “not proper, old chap” attitude?


@ rich C ….did you check out the ‘multi lapped’ backmarkers or do we just forget what you said?


@ rich C…’newfangled’ well there’s an archaic expression if ever i’ve heard one. origin of that word dated to the early 1500’s old english. what i would term an old fart word.


@ gareth…why are twenty cars better than eighteen? the last two will be multi lapped anyway so what is the point? ridiculous when you give it some serious thought.


@ jacobusVdl…..re futility of turning up? well almost especially if the others think that they might just win or snag a podium hahaha. really though this caterham thing is too silly for words. apart from a few diehards hardly anyone has actually missed them in the last two races, or so it appears. i certainly didn’t hear any wailing or see any brow beating that signalled their loss of participation.

IMO, that are just an insignificant waste of space. now this seems to upset a few people here, especially those that propose to champion the underdog. i simply don’t see it that way and if that puts me out on the fringe…well i can live with that.


@kenneth……doesn’t your argument about the futility of turning up at Abu Dhabi apply to evry team except Mercedes?

The guys who are making the decisions at Caterham obviously see value in taking part in that race, they have skin in the game, so I’m prepared to believe they will have thought it through.

Keep swimming against the tide you old non-conformist 😉


@ jakobus vdl…….the fact that they, caterham, may turn up is futile. what are they going to do? tootle around at the back of the field being lapped at least twice, most likely. that to me is a complete and utter waste of time and money. do you seriously think that someone, anyone, is going to witness that and say to themselves, ‘wow, maybe i should buy that team” or ‘aren’t they great. yes i’ll put that one down in the history books’.

none of the employess are going to gain anything out of it either. the funding source is not being applied to those poor chaps that have lost their jobs. why people are applauding this is beyond me. a dumb move, IMO of course.


Not ridiculous if by turning up they can find a buyer and safeguard 200 jobs.

Lets not go racing because we can’t win and there’s no point.

Would you roll over and die?

Can’t believe you are an Australian!


So now that Mercedes have the constructors championship wrapoed up and the lock on the drivers championship, no one else should waste their time by showing up?

Come on Kenneth, shouldn’t taking part in F1 be a worthy undertaking in itself?


@ rich C…obviously you haven’t watched the following races, malaysia,china,spain,monaco and austria to name but a few. in all these races chilton/ericsson and kobi at times have been multi lapped according to the official F1 site. according to you then they are wrong?

as i said, give it some serious thought


Give it some serious thought: When was the last time ANYone was multi-lapped?


I tried to donate, doesn’t work for us here in the USA, They might be in trouble but you have to cheer for their willingness to give it a go, would have been worth a $100. I think the small teams are what has made the sport great as everyone had to start some place.


Really good to see them make it to the grid. Good marketing as well, not announcing the drivers, as it will give the team a few column inches. It seems pretty clear, though, that someone, or several drivers, made up the difference between the crowd funding and the total required to their drives. I say good luck to all of them.

Also, good on Renault for not scuppering them and supplying engines regardless of payment, not something a lot of creditors would have done.


What happens if their engine supplier and or gearbox supplier are among their creditors?


Then they’ll be using the old Flintstones method 🙂


What a joke! ‘Let’s go race’ who? As has been pointed out, let’s hope some inexperienced wannabe in an uncompetitive Caterham doesn’t hold up (or take out!) any of the cars that are actually racing for something.



Wow imagine lewis(or nico) coming round on the last lap, ectatic about to become 2015 wdc,about to lap caterham for the 3rd time, caterham driver has brain fade halfasleep turns into merc takes it out, well it would be publicity of some soughts?


Speaking of brain fade lol 🙂

Yes, that is a scenario that could happen but frankly I think there’s more chance that Hamilton and Rosberg will collide with each other.


You mean like Jean-Louis Schlesser did to Senna (Monza I think… late 80’s??)


Do you think Lewis would kick and punch a girl??


Sorry 2014 wdc


Imagine that. Rosberg is just about to do a professional foul on Hamilton, and a Caterham gets in their first!


Good for Them!!

I for one have been very critical of the way they have handled much this year and my wife who works for one of their primary ex-sponsors told me a bit a bout the chaos. Now that its all out there and they are obviously wanting new buyers, I praise their way to attract a new buyers and potential new drivers by getting creative to join the last race. If they manage to score a point it would be pretty cool. You gotta give some credit to the scrappy team of people who have kicked, scratched and maybe pulled hair to get this done.

Let Rubino drive the last race and go for 10th…now that would make headlines….haha

I will be wearing my Caterham Team Shirt just to cheer them on!!


Except that the “scrappy team of people” the you refer to were all made redundant on the day that it was announced that the team was “going racing” I can’t help but feel for the staff and wish that they had received the money that was owed to them so that they could be sent home with a little dignity and maybe a smile and a little hope for the future.


That can’t score a point… only twp


Except if the race is stopped before 75% of its normal length


What about Rubinho for one of the drives?


Simple way to get a driver or two for one race:

Go round every team in the pitlane and see who’s willing to pay a few quid for their reserve driver to have a go! The car’s most likely to be at the back anyway so you might as well cover your costs and give a young hotshot a bit of experience.


I’m sure Finbar would have sent an email to every driver manager that the auction has started… What am I offered?


Bloody good luck to them!


How can you not cheer for Caterham now? Great job guys! Go for it.


There are some cynical posters on here who have no regard for the history, tradition and romance of F1.


“The objective is to complete the season, collect the US$10 million in prize money owing to the team and then attempt to use that platform of a team as a going concern to complete a sale.”

Amazed that Marussia didn’t even try the same strategy, they must have been in more dire straights than Caterham, even though the public perception was the opposite.

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