Caterham's acting boss Finbarr O'Connell has thanked the world of formula one for helping the team to make its F1 comeback this weekend. Attending his first ever grand prix in Abu Dhabi, the financial administrator admitted that fans who donated money and Bernie Ecclestone
who arranged free freight transportation were not the only ones who helped Caterham overcome the odds and set up camp for the 2014 season finale.
"We are overwhelmed by the level of support we have received," he is quoted by Speed Week. "I have to thank primarily partners such as Renault
, Red Bull Technology, Pirelli
, Dell and Total," said O'Connell. It is widely believed, for example, that engine supplier Renault is owed a considerable amount of money and could have simply refused to service Caterham in Abu Dhabi.
So O'Connell admitted that although Caterham is in Abu Dhabi, whether the team makes it to the 2015 season is another matter entirely. "If it is to be bought and to continue to run in exactly the way it is being run now, I think the next few weeks are absolutely key because the employees will all be beginning to drift away and there will no longer be a cohesive team like there is now," he told the British broadcaster Sky.
There is also the matter of the 2015 car, which must be significantly different to the current one to accommodate the new nose rules and also a different installation for Renault's 2015 engine. "So I'm putting pressure on prospective purchasers to act in that small timeframe," said O'Connell.
One of the potential buyers, he revealed, is a "large corporation" that he will meet with this weekend in Abu Dhabi. "I'm meeting two families who are based in the Middle East who I think, because we're here, are particularly interested to come and see me, and also one large corporation who I think would be a really good fit if they do acquire it," said O'Connell. (GMM)