Time will tell if we’ve seen the last of Caterham in Formula One, but should a new buyer be found for the team, it will have the ability to run next season with its 2014 car, the CT05.
Britain’s Press Association reports that the team has received a special dispensation to do just that following a recent meeting of the Formula One Commission in Geneva, Switzerland.
The decision must still be ratified by the World Motor Sport Council during its own meeting this week in Qatar.
But with no need to worry about money toward building a new car in 2015, potential buyers may now see the financially stricken Caterham as a less costly way to enter the sport and get a proper base for 2016.
“The F1 Commission and FIA agreed if it would assist the weaker teams they can use the 2014 car next year, so giving them more time and options,” Caterham administrator Finbarr O’Connell said to the PA. “That is of interest to all the parties I’m talking to because it gives them a choice, an easier start to get into F1 if they chose that route. It helps.”
Caterham needed a successful crowd-funding campaign to make it to the grid for the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. During that weekend, O’Connell said that a sale of the team by Christmas was important to ensure its survival.
But while he’s still pushing for a pre-Christmas deal with somebody, he said the deadline is no longer as urgent thanks to the dispensation.
“It now doesn’t have to happen by then, but the earlier the better from my point of view, and I’m encouraging people as much as I can,” he said. “It’s a very difficult purchase decision for any party because of the huge costs involved in running a F1 team. I’m still talking to a few interested parties, and I’m hoping one of them can do the deal.
“The number of people I’m talking to has increased, with two very strong candidates, and a third less strong. All I can do is show what I have, show the team, the assets and the facilities, and facilitate in any way I can with them making a decision. I remain confident something will be done.”