Report: Redundancies made at Caterham ahead of Abu Dhabi return

4 Comments

Caterham F1 Team is set to take just 40 staff to the final round of the 2014 Formula 1 season in Abu Dhabi next weekend after over 200 workers were made redundant earlier this week, according to a report by Reuters.

After entering administration last month, Caterham missed the last two races in the United States and Brazil, but confirmed on Friday that it would be making a shock return to the grid for the final race of the year in Abu Dhabi.

Administrator Finbarr O’Connell revealed that, thanks to a crowdfunding drive to raise funds for the race, enough outside investment has been found to ensure that the team can race at Yas Marina and bring itself in line for a $40m windfall. The crowdfunding deadline has now been extended to after the race in Abu Dhabi.

Speaking to Reuters’ Alan Baldwin, O’Connell confirmed that redundancies had been made as the team had not yet been sold, with the majority of the workers agreeing to this.

“They were very supportive but asked would I agree, if the team was not sold by Friday November 14, to organize them to be made redundant,” O’Connell said, before going on to reveal that talks to try and save the team will take place in Abu Dhabi.

“We are going to Abu Dhabi, racing and talking to potential buyers with meetings already arranged out there,” he explained. “The second track is that at the same time the claims forms will be up and running.

“A best outcome could be for staff to get redundancy, arrears of pay and then if someone comes along, they would get paid again.”

Big questions do still surround the future of the team, though, with a letter sent to veteran F1 journalist Joe Saward by a former employee casting a dark shadow on events at Leafield over the past few months.

Now, all eyes will be on the backmarkers to see if they are fit to race in Abu Dhabi and whether there is a viable future in Formula 1 for the Caterham operation. It may be back from the brink, but there’s still a huge fight for the team to survive.

Three in position to capture World Rally Championship title at Rally Australia

Photo by Massimo Bettiol/Getty Images
Leave a comment

COFFS HARBOUR, Australia (AP) Defending champion Sebastien Ogier goes into this weekend’s Rally Australia with a chance to clinch his sixth World Rally Championship in a row. Thierry Neuville, a runner-up four times but never a champion, hopes to change the world order.

Neuville led the series for much of the season but Ogier’s win in Britain and a second place in Spain has given the Frenchman 204 points, three ahead of Neuville, heading into the final rally of the championship.

“We are not the best friends but we are rivals and respect each other for our performances,” Neuville said Wednesday. “I’ve been second many times in the championship now, we are so close to the main goal.”

“If we need to take more risks because we need to pass Sebastien we’re going to try,” the Belgian driver added, “we’ll take the maximum risks.”

Ogier says the feeling is mutual when it comes to his main rival.

“We are different, definitely, but most important we’re in a great fight together and respect each other for that,” Ogier said. “It’s about trying to beat each other and do it with respect.”

Ott Tanak of Estonia sits 23 points behind and with 30 points for a win in Australia, and other results going his way, he could also capture the world title.

Ogier will be hoping for some Friday morning rain to settle the dust and gravel before he sets off first on what will be more than 300 kilometers (180 miles) of timed racing through forests on the New South Wales state’s north coast, about 530 kilometers (325 miles) north of Sydney.

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports