F1: Ecclestone gives Caterham permission to miss US and Brazil
The administrators for Caterham Sports, who have now also taken control of Caterham F1, say that Bernie Ecclestone has given them permission to miss the US and Brazilian GPs while a buyer is sought.
The administrators are Finbarr O'Connell and Henry Shinners of Smith & Williamson.
A statement from the company said: “In a telephone conversation today between Finbarr O’Connell and Bernie Ecclestone, Mr. Ecclestone agreed to support the administrators in their wish to sell the Formula 1 team to a party with the financial strength to sustain it into the future.
“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.”
Explaining what has happened over the last 24 hours, the statement said: “Mr. Colin Kolles, the previous principal of the team offered today to hand over management control of 1MRT to the administrators. Lawyers for the administrators and Mr. Kolles are currently working on the paperwork to affect this transfer.
“The administrators have already been contacted by a number of interested parties expressing a wish to buy the team and they hope that a transaction with an operator of substantial financial means can be concluded in the next few weeks.
“It is hoped that any purchaser of the F1 team will take over the employees and that they will be able to recommence their work including that at the Leafield site.”
Regarding what the proposed sale actually involved, Shiners said: “This includes the Formula 1 licence, the racing cars, the designs and intellectual property for current and future seasons plus the workforce and all of the technical support provided to the racing team by CSL from the Leafield Technical Center. Purchasing the assets would give the buyer ready access to F1 racing.”
O’Connell added: “We believe this arrangement gives us a much better chance of being able to reach a better conclusion for the racing team and its creditors.
“While this is a great step forward in making the whole team and assets more attractive, there is no need for the staff of 1MRT to return to the Oxford site in Leafield until a sale of the Formula 1 team occurs.
“This is a difficult situation which is not of our making. We regret any personal impact on 1MRT’s employees. As administrators for CSL, we are seeking to maximize the outcome for its creditors and other stakeholders.”