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 2021

Show full world champion standings

Test calendar

Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing

See full test schedule

Give your opinion!

Will Bottas challenge Hamilton for the world championship in 2020?

Formula 1 Calendar - 2021

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
-
Bahrain
26 - Mar 28 2021
Bahrain
16 - Apr 18 2021
Italy
30 - May 2 2021
Portugal
7 - May 9 2021
Spain
20 - May 23 2021
Monaco
4 - Jun 6 2021
Azerbaijan
18 - Jun 20 2021
France
25 - Jun 27 2021
Austria
2 - Jul 4 2021
Austria
16 - Jul 18 2021
United Kingdom
30 - Aug 1 2021
Hungary
27 - Aug 29 2021
Belgium
3 - Sep 5 2021
Netherlands
10 - Sep 12 2021
Italy
24 - Sep 26 2021
Russian
8 - Oct 10 2021
Japan
8 - Oct 10 2021
Turkey
22 - Oct 24 2021
United States of America
5 - Nov 7 2021
Mexico
12 - Nov 14 2021
Brazil
19 - Nov 21 2021
Qatar
3 - Dec 5 2021
Saudi Arabia
10 - Dec 12 2021
United Arab Emirates
-
United Arab Emirates
See full schedule

Formula 1 Calendar - 2021

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
26 - Mar 28 2021
16 - Apr 18 2021
30 - May 2 2021
7 - May 9 2021
20 - May 23 2021
Monaco Monte Carlo
4 - Jun 6 2021
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
18 - Jun 20 2021
France Paul Ricard
25 - Jun 27 2021
Austria Red Bull Ring
2 - Jul 4 2021
Austria Red Bull Ring
16 - Jul 18 2021
United Kingdom Silverstone
30 - Aug 1 2021
Hungary Hungaroring
27 - Aug 29 2021
3 - Sep 5 2021
Netherlands Circuit Zandvoort
10 - Sep 12 2021
Italy Monza
24 - Sep 26 2021
Russian Sochi Autodrom
8 - Oct 10 2021
8 - Oct 10 2021
Turkey Istanbul Park
22 - Oct 24 2021
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
5 - Nov 7 2021
12 - Nov 14 2021
Brazil Interlagos
19 - Nov 21 2021
3 - Dec 5 2021
Saudi Arabia Jeddah Street Circuit
10 - Dec 12 2021
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
-
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
See full schedule
show sidebar