user icon

Clock is ticking for Caterham to meet Austin deadline

  • Published on 24 Oct 2014 08:40
  • comments 0
  • By: Rob Veenstra
The clock is ticking down to struggling F1 backmarker Caterham's apparent collapse. With the Saturday freight deadline for sending cars and equipment to Austin now just hours away, staff remain locked out of the Leafield factory while an unseemly spat continues to escalate between the team's former and current owners.

Former owner Tony Fernandes, the well-known Malaysian entrepreneur, broke his silence on Thursday by insisting that the new buyer called 'Engavest' has not paid up. "There was no legal obligation to transfer the shares to them unless certain conditions - which included paying creditors - were met," he said.

The team's operating company, Caterham Sports Limited, has been appointed an administrator on behalf of an unpaid Malaysian bank, triggering the very real danger that the recent Russian grand prix was the team's last grand prix. "I sincerely hope that this will not be the case and that a solution can be found," said Fernandes.

Caterham Group Graham Macdonald was even more critical, accusing Engavest of never having "any intention" of paying its bills. "I go on to question how anyone who was interested in the long term future of the business would appoint one of their cleaners - Constantin Cojocar - as the sole director and shareholder of the UK operating company," he charged.

Engavest's reaction to the scandal has been to insist that because Fernandes never handed over his shares, the Malaysian is in fact still responsible for the team and its liabilities. In a counter-statement, the Swiss based company also accused one of Fernandes' representatives of "breaking into a filing cabinet" at Leafield containing "private and confidential documents", resulting in Engavest's "total contempt of Mr Fernandes".

Engavest, advised by serial F1 backmarker chief Colin Kolles, insists it has met the conditions of Fernandes' sale agreement. But with the race cars locked inside Leafield by the administrator Finbarr O'Connell, it appears unlikely Caterham will be on the Austin grid, as required by Bernie Ecclestone. "Everybody is prepared to go to Austin," Kolles told media late on Thursday. "The problem is if the administrators are not changing their mind it is difficult."

He dismissed O'Connell's claims that Caterham could be rescued by a third party stepping in to buy the team. "He lives in dreamland," Kolles charged, according to Speed Week. "Perhaps he wants to be the team principal himself." (GMM)

Replies (0)

Login to reply

BE Grand Prix of Belgium

Local time 

BE Grand Prix of Belgium

Local time 

Related news

World Championship standings 2022

Show full world champion standings

Test calendar

See full test schedule

Give your opinion!

Will Bottas challenge Hamilton for the world championship in 2020?

Formula 1 Calendar - 2023

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
-
Bahrain
3 - Mar 5
Bahrain
17 - Mar 19
Saudi Arabia
31 - Apr 2
Australia
28 - Apr 30
Azerbaijan
5 - May 7
United States of America
19 - May 21
Italy
26 - May 28
Monaco
2 - Jun 4
Spain
16 - Jun 18
Canada
30 - Jul 2
Austria
7 - Jul 9
United Kingdom
21 - Jul 23
Hungary
28 - Jul 30
Belgium
25 - Aug 27
Netherlands
1 - Sep 3
Italy
15 - Sep 17
Singapore
22 - Sep 24
Japan
20 - Oct 22
United States of America
27 - Oct 29
Mexico
3 - Nov 5
Brazil
17 - Nov 19
United States of America
24 - Nov 26
United Arab Emirates
See full schedule

Formula 1 Calendar - 2023

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
3 - Mar 5
17 - Mar 19
Saudi Arabia Jeddah Street Circuit
31 - Apr 2
Australia Albert Park
28 - Apr 30
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
5 - May 7
United States of America Miami International Autodrome
19 - May 21
26 - May 28
Monaco Monte Carlo
2 - Jun 4
16 - Jun 18
30 - Jul 2
Austria Red Bull Ring
7 - Jul 9
United Kingdom Silverstone
21 - Jul 23
Hungary Hungaroring
28 - Jul 30
25 - Aug 27
Netherlands Circuit Zandvoort
1 - Sep 3
Italy Monza
15 - Sep 17
22 - Sep 24
20 - Oct 22
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
27 - Oct 29
3 - Nov 5
Brazil Interlagos
17 - Nov 19
United States of America Las Vegas Street Circuit
24 - Nov 26
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
See full schedule
show sidebar