ABU DHABI – Caterham administrator Finbarr O’Connell remains confident that a buyer can be found for the ailing Formula 1 team after managing to return to the grid for this weekend’s race in Abu Dhabi.
Following a dispute between former owner Tony Fernandes and a group of potential buyers called Engavest, Caterham entered administration following the Russian Grand Prix, failing to race in the United States or Brazil.
O’Connell was appointed as the team’s administrator, and quickly began to work on securing a future for the team by securing fresh investment. Controversially, a crowdfunding project was launched, asking fans for donations to try and save the team.
Remarkably, enough investment was found to allow Caterham to race in Abu Dhabi this weekend, returning to the grid with Kamui Kobayashi and young British driver Will Stevens.
Speaking at yesterday’s FIA team principals’ press conference, O’Connell said that he was pleased to have got the team back on its feet, and revealed that he is in talks with a number of potential buyers.
“I’ve got a number of people who could acquire,” O’Connell said. “It’s just persuading people to make that decision. It’s a huge acquisition decision because of everything. Everybody knows what you have to do, those budgets you have to meet etc.
“But we have people who could do it and with the achievements we’ve had up until now I really hope and believe we’re going to get there.
“I’m talking to a number of people who have got different interests. I’m talking to some people who are interested in making a decision in the next few weeks and if that happens, they can take over the team as it currently stands. The employees have all kept together, they’ve all been made redundant.
“Even though they’ve been made redundant, it meant they are absolutely fantastic people. They’ve come here to showcase the team and between themselves, 120 of them have all agreed that they will come back and work for any purchaser. So one option is, in the next few weeks, that something like that happens.
“I’m also talking to people who are interested in the facilities, in the building, in the facilities we have and in looking at a longer strategy, whereby they would use that as the basis for beginning a new team, and that team, clearly would look for a new racing licence in the future.”
Following Marussia’s demise and eventual closure earlier this month, the pressure will be on Caterham to keep itself going and try to maintain the grid at 20 cars for the 2015 season.