LONDON, England - Less than a month before official (northern) Formula 1 winter testing begins the future of ailing back-markers Marussia and Caterham remains unclear.
ON THE GRID, OR NOT? Struggling tail-enders Marussia (left) and Caterham are still not sure what the future holds and if they will be racing in the 2015 season. Image: AP / Toru Takahashi
Marussia's administrators have auctioned team equipment and the factory at Banbury in England could even be sold to Haas, the new American team for 2016.
That's to pay back a long list of creditors, with Forbes journalist Christian Sylt saying even staff are still owed about R730 000 in pay but administrator Geoff Rowley insists there "continues to be dialogue with a number of parties who are considering making an investment into the company".
SAUBER FIGHTING FOR SURVIVAL?
To date, however, Rowley admitted that "no satisfactory offer or strategy has been offered to allow racing to continue". Sylt concluded that it was "unlikely" that Marussia's redundant staff return to work. Meanwhile, Caterham's administrators have in recent weeks sounded more bullish about the future of the also UK-based team.
Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat reports that a significant percentage of the team staff has already moved on, for example to jobs at Williams and Lotus, which are also based in the UK.
Finally, Switzerland's Blick reports that Sauber is also fighting for survival, helped by the three drivers for 2015 who are bringing a collective $50-million for 2015. Paying racers Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr are joined by the new reserve and Ferrari junior Raffaele Marciello, whom correspondent Roger Benoit said was accompanying a $10-million subsidy for Sauber's 2015 engine deal.
Benoit wrote: "Actually, Ferrari had also planned to promote Jules Bianchi from Marussia to Sauber for 2015."