The staff of Caterham F1 were locked out of the team factory on Thursday – and that means just one thing: the administrator needs to take a crash course in Formula 1 rules, regulations and contracts or else he will destroy what value there is left in the troubled F1 team.
The role of an administrator is to run an insolvent business on behalf of the creditors, while future options are being sought. Stopping the staff from working on the F1 cars, and in effect stopping the cars going to the next race, is not the treatment that is required. It is equivalent to being a doctor and strangling your patient. There are probably questions about who legally owns the cars but these are ultimately irrelevant if the team does not keep trying to win World Championship points in the final three races. The team is unlikely to succeed, but if it’s not at the races, it is 100 percent certain to fail and that will guarantee 11th place for the second year running and a dropping revenues of cataclysmic proportions, by which I mean in the region of $90 million. One hopes that someone has told him this already.
One can only assume that the administrator has not had the time or the opportunity to read and understand all the different agreements related to the team (basically the equivalent of the Concorde Agreement) because if he thinks that quibbling over the rent at Leafield and not looking at the big picture of what happens if the team misses Austin, then there’s not much hope and the creditors are probably not going to get much.
Time is running out. The cars need to go to Brazil by any means possible.
Thus far, it seems all the administrator has managed to achieve is to drive away the people who were trying to save the business, and put the whole thing back in the hands of the people who don’t want it…