Ecclestone hits out at Caterham’s crowdfunding project

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Bernie Ecclestone has hit out at Caterham’s attempt to try and make the grid for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in two weeks’ time through a crowdfunding project, telling reporters in Brazil that it is a “disaster”.

After entering administration following the Russian Grand Prix, Caterham confirmed that it would not be racing in either the United States or Brazil, but was still hoping to feature at the final race of the year in Abu Dhabi.

Yesterday, the administrators launched a crowdfunding project called “Refuel Caterham F1” in a bid to raise $3.7m in the next week and ensure that the team could race at Yas Marina.

In return for donations, fans can choose from a variety of benefits, with over 20% of the target being raised in the first 24 hours of the project launching.

However, Ecclestone has hit out at the idea, telling a number of outlets including Reuters that he thought the idea was a terrible one.

“I think it’s a disaster,” Ecclestone said. “We don’t want begging bowls. If people can’t afford to be in Formula 1, they have to find something else to do.

“If I sit in a poker game and I can’t afford to be there with the other people, I get killed and have to leave.”

Should Caterham manage to reach the grid in Abu Dhabi, it could secure the team a $40m windfall following the closure of Marussia F1 Team on Friday.

Although Marussia does rank ninth in the constructors’ championship, it will give up its position by not seeing out the season. Caterham would face a similar fate if it does not race again this year, but should it start under the lights at Yas Marina, it would automatically move up to P10 in the constructors’ championship and secure the prize money that comes with it.

You can find out more about Caterham’s crowdfunding project by clicking here.

F1’s Valtteri Bottas to compete in first-ever rally race in his native Finland

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Formula One’s “Flying Finn” is going back home for the first time.

More precisely, Valtteri Bottas is returning to his Finland homeland to compete in his first career rally race in the Finnish Rally Championship season opener.

Bottas, teammates on the F1 Mercedes team with five-time champ Lewis Hamilton, will compete in the World Rally Championships’ Arctic Lapland Rally from January 24-26.

He’ll team with two-time World Rally champion Timo Rautiainen in a M-Sport Ford Fiesta RS WRC on rally roads of the Finnish Arctic Circle.

“This is a unique opportunity to take a peek into the world of rallying,” Bottas told Finnish rallying website Rallism.f1. “I would like to thank everyone who has made it possible.

“It’s totally new territory for me too, as I have no prior experience of a World Rally Car. Still, being the race car driver that I am, you always go flat out whatever the vehicle you’re driving in.”

Added Rautiainen, “In my life, I’ve sat in a rally car with only three drivers, but this is such an interesting mission that I just had to accept the challenge. I believe that for a talented wheelman like Valtteri, we’ll be able to establish a good basic driving routine in testing.”

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