Caterham administrators in talks with possible new buyers

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The administrators currently in charge at Caterham F1 Team have confirmed in a new statement that they are in talks with a number of possible buyers for the financially-stricken outfit.

Following a dispute between former owner Tony Fernandes and possible buyers Engavest, the team entered administration last week and was taken over by administrator Finbarr O’Connell of Smith and Williamson.

Caterham will not be racing in the United States this weekend, nor will it take part in the Brazilian Grand Prix in one week’s time. Marussia will also miss both races after hitting its own financial strife following the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi.

In a statement issued on Friday, the administrators confirmed that it was still hoping to get the investment in place for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in three weeks’ time. Failing that, it will work to get the team on the grid for 2015.

“We remain in conversation with a number of credible, interested parties regarding the sale of the historic Caterham F1 racing team,” the statement reads.

“Our current strategy is to seek a buyer that will allow the team to compete in the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi on 23 November 2014 and we are doing all we can to make that happen. However, if a deal cannot be finalised in time, then the strategy is to secure a buyer to allow the team to compete in the 2015 F1 championship.

“We are working with our specialist Corporate Finance team to manage the sale process and we have received several expressions of interest from parties with the financial strength to fund a F1 race team. These conversations are ongoing. We believe this approach will maximise the assets of the broader Caterham F1 team and so enable the best outcome for creditors and other stakeholders, including employees of 1MRT.”

The statement also revealed that the employees at Caterham F1 Team actually work for 1 Malaysia Racing Team, Tony Fernandes’ company, and not the firm that has entered administration, Caterham Sports Limited.

“Staff at Caterham’s Leafield site in Oxfordshire are employees of 1MRT, which is a separate entity to CSL,” it reads. “Staff were advised in writing that from 8 October 2014, their employment had been transferred from CSL to 1MRT. This took place before the current administrators of CSL were appointed.

“As administrators to CSL, we are doing our best to resolve matters as smoothly as possible and for the benefit of creditors and other stakeholders. This remains a highly complex situation.

“We understand that in recent weeks there has been a lack of communication between 1MRT and staff at the Leafield site. The administrators of CSL are therefore mindful of the uncertainty facing 1MRT’s employees and their families and are doing their best to address this.”

For the time being, the uncertainty at Caterham is set to continue. O’Connell is set to travel to Austin this weekend for the United States Grand Prix to provide updates on the search for a buyer, but unless one is found soon, Caterham’s hopes of survival may be all but over.

Caterham drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kamui Kobayashi have come to the race in Austin despite not racing, with Ericsson conducting work for Swedish television as his F1 hopes are put on hold.

NBC/NBCSN SCHEDULE FROM UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX

X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
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Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.