Marussia F1 Team Disbanded, Caterham Turns To Crowdfunding

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Marussia F1 Team logo

Marussia F1 Team logo

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Both the Marussia and Caterham Formula One teams have missed the last two races of the 2014 season due to financial difficulties, with the former still reeling from the Japanese Grand Prix accident that caused one of its drivers, Jules Bianchi, to suffer serious head injuries. The latest statement from the Bianchi family is that the injured driver remains in a critical but stable condition in a hospital in Japan.

As for Marussia, administrators appointed late last month have failed to find a buyer and on Friday decided to wind the company up due to a shortfall in on-going funding. The decision has made almost 200 of the U.K.-based team’s staff redundant. The news comes six months after the separate Marussia sports car brand was also disbanded.

The Marussia team, formerly known as Virgin Racing, was last owned by Russian billionaire Andrei Cheglakov. There were a number of parties interested in taking over the team but in the end none made the commitment.

Caterham Formula One car

Caterham Formula One car

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The Caterham F1 team, which no longer has any connection with the Caterham sports car brand, has its own financial troubles to deal with, though the team hasn’t been disbanded just yet. Its current owner Engavest hasn’t paid the bills of the company that builds the actual race cars for the team, so the administrators have been called in.

In a last-ditch effort, Caterham has launched a crowdfunding campaign to help raise enough cash to get the team down to the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi in a fortnight. Companies and fans can get involved by heading to the website www.crowdcube.com/caterham and pledging the amount they wish to give. The team needs to raise £2,350,000 (approximately $3,736,737) by Friday and—at the time of writing—is close to halfway there.

Caterham is currently tied for last place with Sauber, with both teams sitting on zero points in the 2014 Constructors' Championship. Should the team score just a few points it could mean millions in prize money from F1 organizers.

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