It may not have been able to achieve the £2.35 million target it was hoping to raise via crowdfunding, but the Caterham F1 Team nonetheless announced that it will be on the grid at next weekend’s season-ending Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi.
A statement proudly announced that the team has “many potential buyers” and that it hopes to showcase the team as “a live and functioning team that deserves to continue into 2015 and beyond”.
The Leafield-based squad was handed over to administrators Smith & Williamson last month, missing the United States and Brazilian Grands Prix while its interim management looked to secure new long-term backing for the team.
The team had apparently been sold by founder Tony Fernandes to a consortium of Swiss and Middle Eastern investors before the British Grand Prix, but the transaction later fell into dispute when Fernandes claimed that the team’s buyers hadn’t fulfilled the terms laid out for a full ownership transfer to take place.
Smith & Williamson opted to take the more unusual route of a crowdfunding effort, with £1.8 million of its £2.35 million target being raised to-date.
Caterham is still to confirm who will drive its cars at next weekend’s race at Abu Dhabi, although there will be at least one change following Marcus Ericsson’s confirmation that he has split ties with the team. The team has used Ericsson, Kamui Kobayashi and André Lotterer (at the Belgian Grand Prix) so far this season, and it is permitted to have one further driver change under the sporting regulations.
After a fallout between Kobayashi and the team at its last race in Russia – where he claimed that the team was using parts well past their use-by date and repairing components on the fly – it is highly unlikely the Japanese driver will pilot his #10 entry.
Therefore, the team is believed to have made approaches to Lotterer once again, while it would be logical to assume that the other occupant of the second car will go to a well-heeled driver.
Image via Caterham F1 Team