Caterham gets permission to miss US, Brazil races
The Caterham F1 Team has been given special dispensation to miss two grands prix following the withdrawal of its management amid a feud between them and owner Tony Fernandes.
The team has been taken over by administrator Finbarr O'Connell and Henry Shinners of Smith & Williamson, who will run the team whilst trying to find a new buyer for the F1 entry, intellectual property rights and equipment.
Missing an event would usually break the teams contractual obligations with the F1 rights' holder, but O'Connell has spoken to Bernie Ecclestone and come to an agreement with the 83-year-old.
"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 One team to a party with the financial strength to sustain it into the future," read a Smith & Williamson statement.
"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.
"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 effect 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."
O'Connell however warned that their priority is to ensure Caterham's creditors are paid and therefore if the right deal can't be secured, there is no guarantee Caterham's employees will return to work.
"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 maximise the outcome for its creditors and other stakeholders."