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 races in Austin, Mexico City hitting financial rough patches

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AUSTIN, Texas — Two of Formula One’s three races in North America are facing financial issues that are raising concern about their future.

Organizers of the U.S. Grand Prix won’t get at least $20 million from the state of Texas for the 2018 race after missing a paperwork deadline set by state law. And new questions lurk about the future of the Mexican Grand Prix after the country’s new president suggested the government may not spend on the race like it has the last four years.

Both races have been popular with drivers and fans, and have enjoyed key dates on the F1 calendar. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton clinched season championships in Texas in 2015 and in Mexico City in 2017 and 2018.

Officials in Formula One and at the Circuit of the Americas, host of the U.S. Grand Prix, did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday.