Insolvency experts try to save Caterham F1 team
LONDON (AP) Financially-troubled Formula One team Caterham has been granted permission to miss the next two races while it seeks a new buyer.
F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone spoke Friday to the insolvency specialists who have been handed control of Caterham, which may have to miss the races in the United States and Brazil in the coming weeks.
Administrator Finbarr O'Connell closed the team factory in the English county of Oxfordshire on Thursday, but is hopeful Caterham can be saved before this season ends on Nov. 23 in Abu Dhabi.
''Mr. Ecclestone agreed to support the administrators in their wish to sell the Formula One team to a party with the financial strength to sustain it into the future,'' a statement from administrators Smith & Williamson said after the call between Ecclestone and O'Connell. ''Mr. Ecclestone also agreed to give dispensation to Caterham F1 such that it could, if necessary, miss the U.S. and Brazilian Grands Prix, but hoped that a new owner would be in a position to race the team at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.''
The past and present owners of Caterham have been engaged in a dispute over the last week leading up to Friday's announcement.
Malaysian entrepreneur Tony Fernandes said he is yet to be paid for the shares to relinquish his ownership, while the buyers in a consortium of Swiss and Middle Eastern businessmen who took over Caterham at the end of June insist everything has been done properly.
The administrators said they have been contracted by ''a number of interested parties expressing a wish to buy the team.''
''They hope a transaction with an operator of substantial financial means can be concluded in the next few weeks,'' the Smith & Williamson statement said. ''It is hoped that any purchaser of the F1 team will take over the employees and they will be able to recommence their work.''