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Bernie: Caterham fall 'better' for F1

2014-10-23 08:59

NO BEGGING BOWLS HERE: F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone won't be lifting a finger should the struggling Caterham team collapse, as he says it would be better for the sport if they did. Image: AFP

LONDON, England - Caterham is on the brink of collapse, as the backmarker team loses even the support of F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

Ecclestone told the Sun newspaper in an article credited to business journalist Caroline Reid: "I think it's better they go. I don't want people going around with begging bowls."

His comments follow Caterham's publication of an explosive press release on Wednesday (Oct 22), as administrators of a company based at the Leafield factory refuse to release the race cars just days before the freight deadline for Austin.


In the release, the new owners accused Tony Fernandes of not transferring shares, leaving them "in the invidious position of funding the team without having legal title to the team it had bought".

Malaysian Fernandes, having earlier distanced himself from the deteriorating situation at Leafield, has hit back on Twitter: "If you buy something you should pay for it. Quite simple."

Finbarr O'Connell, representing the administrator, has been quoted by Speed Week: "Obviously, the party Tony Fernandes sold the business to does not have the funds to finance it."

The situation has left Caterham on the verge of collapse, with three grands prix remaining in 2014.

The team admits administrators withholding the cars and guarding the team factory with private security has had "devastating effects on the F1 team's activities".

Caterham said: "After three months of operating the team in good faith, the buyer is now forced to explore all its options including the withdrawal of its management team.

"Lawyers have been instructed by the buyer to bring all necessary claims against all parties, including Mr Fernandes who, as an owner, will run the F1 operation."


Reuters news agency reported that team boss Manfredi Ravetto confirmed that he is no longer running Caterham.

But the harshest blow could be the loss of support of the powerful Ecclestone, who appears in no mind to intervene and keep the grid at 11 teams.

"I don't know who owns them," the F1 chief executive said. "I don't know and I don't care. Let me tell you something, they will tell you whatever suits them to tell you."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 F1 season – fresh reports every day.


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