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.

INDYCAR: Patricio O’Ward turns heads in Carlin debut

Chris Jones / IndyCar
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While the top story coming out of Sunday’s IndyCar Classic at Circuit of the Americas is undoubtedly 18-year-old Colton Herta’s victory in only his third IndyCar start, another teenager made quite some noise during the first IndyCar race at the facility.

19-year-old Patricio O’Ward made an impressive start to his 2019 IndyCar campaign by starting and finishing in eighth position. It was the first of his 13 races this season for Carlin Racing.

“I think it was a pretty good race for us. We ended exactly where we started and didn’t go backwards, so I’d say that was a successful day” O’Ward said. “I know the No. 31 Carlin Chevrolet had a top-five finish in it today and even though we couldn’t make it happen, it’s nice to know that we have the pace and can be fighting up front with the veteran drivers.”

O’Ward, the 2018 Indy Lights champ, made his series debut for Harding Steinbrenner Racing at last year’s season finale at Sonoma Raceway, where he made it to the Firestone Fast Six in qualifying and finished ninth. O’Ward was scheduled to race for the team full-time in 2019, but left in early February to pursue other options due to a lack of sponsorship.

Pato found a new home with Carlin, and despite missing preseason testing, he proved to be competitive from the get go and pressured some of IndyCar’s more tenured drivers, including Graham Rahal.

In what was undoubtedly the most daring move of the race, O’Ward ended a great battle with Rahal by hitting a superb outside pass on Lap 15.

O’Ward may have likely earned a better result on Sunday, if he didn’t have to save fuel in order to make the finish.

But with only two IndyCar starts to his credit, he is already racing like a seasoned veteran. Sunday’s IndyCar Classic may be the first of many successful outings for him this year.

After the race, he tweeted to his team: “Well done gentlemen … This is only the beginning.”

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