Caterham to race in Abu Dhabi?

Although the crowdfunding for Caterham has raised only £1,868,807 (79 percent of the required total), it seems that the team will be racing at the final Formula 1 Grand Prix of the season in Abu Dhabi next week.

The team says that there is interest from “many potential buyers” and that 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”.

The statement added that: “We still need to raise a bit more cash so please do keep an eye on the Crowdcube website.”

It is not clear whether this means that the team will race if the target is not hit, or whether the whole statement is speculative, based on the target being reached by midnight tonight.

83 thoughts on “Caterham to race in Abu Dhabi?

    1. The administrators have announced that the team will race at Abu Dhabi.

      That doesn’t sound like speculation to me.

  1. Well, we did have the interview where they mentioned that if they could get to 1.8 million, money from potential drivers and sponsors could be put in through crowdcube to get it up to 2,35 millions. And behold, we jump up from 1,3 million to 1,8 in a 100k and a 400k step within a few hours …

    Interesting, I would be curious who put in what money when …

  2. Another thing is, that in the process they seem to have been able to flog quite a bit of inventory (old overalls too – although Chandhok mentioned he ever only had 3 and 2 are at his place, not sure how they got another 4 then), including probably a lot of the stuff that was originally seized.

    What if putting in a bit of money from “friendly sources” or even people who are owed something by caterham helps getting over the target so the pledged money, and the parts sold help payoff something?
    Off course to race, they would probably have to settle some bills with Renault and RBR at least. Not sure about Pirelli.

    On the other hand, I would be happy to see a team surviving, even if its by an onconventional method.

      1. I am still classed as staff and I to would like to know if part of this money raised is to pay not only this months wages but last months as well. It seems to me that alot of sources and journalists have skipped over this part that the staff that are just sitting at home getting told nothing and seeing all this unfold online is disgraceful!

          1. Staff were all made redundant today (many against their wishes). We will get only what comes from the government’s NIF. Good luck getting anybody to sign a contract to rejoin if there really is a buyer.

            1. So how will the brilliant Receivers get to Abu Dhabi and race the Caterhams with no staff? Putting your money their way looks like a scam to me!

              1. A limited number of people have been working for free/consultancy basis. The bigger problem is getting a car designed and built for 2015 (with no staff).

                1. I have not seen or received any information to say that either myself or anyone else has been made redundant so again it seems as if I may be finding out about my position within the company via the internet and potential rumours once again! I can’t imagine any of the race team travelling to Abu Dhabi without getting paid so how do they actually intend to build and run the cars one they get out there?

          2. The decent thing would be for the owner of 1MRT (Fernandes) to pay the owed salaries instead of hiding behind the orchestrated lack of funds.

  3. I thought that they had to get the full 100% or they’d get nothing? (at least that’s how the other crowdfunding sites work).. So they HAVE to get the full figure or none of it counts?

  4. As they are raising money on the site by selling items owned by the team maybe they are putting together a deal to sell shares in a similar way. If a buyer were to buy shares via the crwodfung scheme and the target were reached that would release the full crowdfunded amount giving (to some extent) the buyer of the shares a discount.

    PS As Karl Marx said “This is just an idea, OK?”

  5. Along with a lot of other people, I find this fundraising effort dubious at best. £2.4m to get to Abu Dhabi and back… Hmmm, sounds excessive to me.

    It may be that they wish to save some going forwards into the off season, but that isn’t in the title of their crowdfunding exercise.

    Also, if the worst happens and the team folds in a couple of weeks – after the money has been released to them… All those parties who bought team kit, car parts etc, will merely become creditors, left to pursue their claim with the liquidators.

    A fool and their money…

    1. So you believe the administrators can rip off the supporters by not fulfilling their obligations? That would surprise me. Then again I’m one of the fools that pledged money hoping it would keep people employed coming into Christmas.

    1. I do not know whether it is Rubens but he was close to doing a deal to drive in Brazil before the administrator marched in (and I use the term marched deliberately). I fear that we will see a lot of legal action around this mess in the months ahead

      1. Well if he does drive 1 race for Caterham it’ll be interesting to see if he keeps up his record of being beaten by every team mate he’ve ever had (barring his first year)

      2. Sir, please be advised that published in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL USA edition Friday, November 14, 2014 page B6 CORPORATE NEWS lower left corner shaded area…,…,…, a piece of this article quotes from the 532-page S.E.C. filling that ” FIATChrysler Automotive ( FIA ) will take $ 2.8 billion from Ferrari before the race-car unit is sold next year.”
        over and out.

  6. From the BBC article an hour ago they had £1.46mm so in the space of an hour they managed to raise £400k! At this rate nevermind racing at Abu Dhabi, they could actually buy out CVC and own the whole F1 outright by next weekend !

  7. The figure jumped from 58% with 12hrs remaining to 79% with 10.5 hrs left.
    In that last period around 75 ‘people’ contributed an average of £6700 each.
    About £500,000 raised in that 1.5 hr period!

    It’s that old F1 magic working its ‘smoke-and-mirrors’ thing.
    I wonder if James Randi could explain how they do it?

      1. They’ve also reset the clock – which now shows 9 days remaining.
        I’ve not previously noticed a crowdfunding process that allowed the deadline to be changed.

        So, far more likely to hit their target & collect the pledged donations.

        [& believing in smaller teams’ role in the sport, I’m happy to have put money where my mouth is 😉 ]

      2. I don’t see anything strange. There mysterious sponsors are just placing the money through the crowd website, there is a tier for logo on the car so easily done.

        What I don’t understand is how they can extend the crowd funding deadline, I thought time was a crucial element to it all, otherwise requests couldsit on there for years until eventually money dribbles in. By then the first pledgers would have forgotten all about it!

          1. Well from what I have seen, the administrators announced that Caterham would be racing, not that the crowdfunding had been completed…

  8. Although there are a lot of people that don’t like it, I think the fact that they have raised almost 4/5ths of their target is remarkable – and a lot more than many people seem to have thought would be possible.

        1. Most sites can take your payment info and hold funds, but that doesn’t mean anything if it is an all or nothing goal. If they don’t meet the goal, then they get no money, and the contributors get their money back.

          Some crowd funding sites will allow you to keep the partial amount you raise if the goal is not met, but you must pay a fee from whatever partial funds you get to keep.

  9. Given that it looks unlikely Marussia will make it, I wonder if (given the need to have a super licence)
    Max Chilton will be in he car?

    No one else (Kobayashi aside who I hope will drive the other car) has the experience with modern f1 power trains and is not contracted to another team. Capsicum must have the cash for one race weekend?

  10. I hope they have not sold off all the parts. What sort of people are buying these items? Petrov’s worn race suit has sold out, but an unused one is still available!

    1. A race suit that has been worn is more collectable then an unused suit. It is Petrov’s suit as opposed to a suit made for Petrov.

  11. Meanwhile Finbarr O’Connell has caught the F1 bug, and is abandoning his long career in administration to become full time Caterham TP. Who can say that legendary success does not await?

  12. Wouldn’t the current creditors have a hand in this as well? I mean, if they wont run the team really is dead and their money is gone.
    By running there is a slim chance they will be bought and thus a chance of recouping some or all of the money owed to them.

    I think I would have let them race if it meant getting some money back.

  13. Daily Mail now reporting it as confirmed that they will race in Abu Dhabi… of course we as readers won’t believe it until you confirm it Joe.

    I hope it’s Rubens in the car and I hope he gets in the points, he deserves a good send off and F1 needs a good news story after weeks of negativity.

    1. Is Rubens still elidible for a Superlicence?
      Surely they must expire after not competing at a certain level for a period of time?

      I mean, theoretically Stirling Moss could be elidible for one still otherwise?

      1. Not sure if it expires, i assume that if the driver meets the criteria and renews it then there wouldn’t be a problem. Rubens would probably have kept his up to date in order to be available for a drive… this is all assumptive of course.

  14. I see PalmerSport has 2 x £2,000 event track days on the site up for grabs. Could one of the drivers be Jolyon Palmer? Not only would it get him an F1 outing, but he needs the team to survive if he is going to get a seat next year.

    On an unrelated point – I see Bernie has said in an interview that F1 doesn’t need to attract young fans as they don’t have money to buy a Rolex watch or other premium products. Perhaps I should shove off too then Bernie as I can’t afford a Rolex – despite being a potential customer of Red Bull, Johnny Walker, Renault, Honda, Martini…….. What ever Bernie has achieved in the past he is well past his sell by date. He doesn’t seem to understand the modern world or care about the perception of F1 – if F1 becomes unpopular globally then even the super rich won’t want to be associated with it.

    Sad and worrying times – if I wasn’t a diehard F1 addict I fear I would have stopped watching already.

  15. This is interesting – the crowd funding system usually does work on the basis that the target has to be met or the money is returned. However, they have just upped the deadline so there is now another 9 days to go, and have updated the statement:

    ‘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 on 23rd November thanks to the support of the fans, who have helped the team raise enough money. But you can still support the team and get involved. The deadline has been extended to midnight (GMT) Sunday 23rd November.’

    One can only assume that they have found a backer to guarantee their participation, as they still need to reach that target by 23/11 to get the money. Is this just a massive PR stunt? If so, then I say fair play…

  16. Todays activity on the crowd funding site is pretty shameful. It looks awfully like an attempt to harvest as much possible “backing” from the common all garden fans of the sport before a third party put in the smallest possible remainder to “buy” the operation…

    The only thing I don’t get is why put any money in at all… Unless it is a bunch of sharks hoping to flip next years entry to some dreamer who thinks they can put two cars on the grid in Melbourne…

    This whole sorry exercise makes the Lola Mastercard tie up an exercise in sound financial sense….

      1. I’m not sure that there are, actually — the Caterham appeal is basically a slick electronic version of standing on the street corner rattling a few coppers in a tin cup, with no actual debt or equity involved, and no registered charitable aspect (all of which would invoke the existing laws relating to them). Crowdfunding is still new enough that most governments haven’t got around to passing many laws dealing with it specifically.

  17. Isn’t it ironic that they announced that they reached their goal (in large part to crowdsourcing) on the same day the Bernie said they F1 is not interested in younger fans because they do not have the money to buy things.

    Maybe, just maybe, Bernie has lost touch with the 21st century?

      1. I’ve always believed that Bernie is quietly in control and knows what he’s doing – he says ridiculous things from time to time but there’s always been a reason, even if it’s just deflection.

        However, after seeing that interview, I think he’s lost it. The only conceivable logic behind his recent actions is to deliberately devalue the sport – some say so he can buy it back – but that seems to be a rather far fetched and extremely risky tactic.

        I have the utmost respect for what he has achieved with F1, but now I truly believe he has to go. If CVC have an ounce of intelligence they must see this. The end of his F1 world I do believe is nigh…

  18. Hopefully Finbar has done his research properly so that he starts off on the right foot with Bernie. A nice GP2+ car (or preferably something last seen ascending Gurston Down) with a dashboard to stow any medals won, preferably covered in sponsors that appeal only to the over 70’s and/or the indiscreetly wealthy.

    All that is then required will be some turbo failures in the heat of the desert and bingo! 20 points (or whatever one gets for 10th place at this farce race) in the bag…

    Watching CART rip itself apart was hard enough. This is 10 times worse.

  19. Maybe the shortfall is being paid by pay-drivers (or some similar arrangement) and the remaining percentage is less than the pay drivers have agreed to bring. That way they may actually already be over their requirement even though the crowd-funding is <100%. Just an idea, probably wrong.

    If it saves some jobs (even for a few weeks), provides a couple of drivers with exposure and adds to the spectacle, then I'm for it. And with double points…maybe they could even move up a place (engines are getting slim in other cars).

  20. Presumably a lot of the money raised will be to pay for transport, since I gather Bernie withdrew his subsidy and its not the cheapest airfreight deal, in fact it is now another Bernie moneymaker.

  21. Interesting that the Palmer Sport experience days have disappeared (rather than being sold out) from the website. Maybe there isn’t a Jolyon Palmer connection after all… Will Kobayashi climb aboard again after the wishbone experience?

  22. Marcus Ericsson announced earlier this week that he had terminated his deal with CaterhamF1 “with immmediate effect”… I wonder if his sponsors – already paying a large fortune for his seat during 2014 – had to part with even more moolah as part of the early termination, thus contributing to the crowd-funding effort?

  23. That’s awesome news!! Glad to have been on board early…These crowdfunding scenarios usually have a few big big donations top up the fund near the end and/or they are extended… In this case with drivers on the sidelines waiting and more to be gained than lost it seemed likely to succeed.

    All the cynics aside… Now, our interest continues as we wonder who will the actual drivers be? Kobayashi, Barrichello, ?? Plus, we keep checking the site daily to see the new rewards that they keep adding to perhaps re-donate.

    The future in now…

  24. Joe, with Manor out of the game along with their entry for next year, would Caterham now get the money for “coming 10th” (by default) if they do make it to the grid next year? In other words does Manor’s demise create an extra cash injection for the remaining 10th team if Caterham manage to find a buyer?

      1. That’s encouraging to see.
        There’s a heap of punters out there believing that just by turning up they’ve scored tenth place and a few million bucks.
        Glad they’re incorrect.

  25. Well they certainly won’t be short of drivers. Reading here and there they will have at least five ready for Ab Dab, including one young lady.

    After that……….. who knows
    they could use the same car next year, the rules have not changed much.
    That would/could possibly avoid homologation and crash test costs.

    Unless the secret rules forbid it of course.

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