Despite raising enough cash to finish off the 2014 Formula One World Championship, struggling team Caterham F1, now a separate unit to the Caterham sports car brand, looks like it’s lost all chance of racing this season and will now likely be sold off or disbanded altogether. Administrators for the team have confirmed that all assets, including last year’s race cars, will be put up for auction.
“A series of online timed auction sales will be held covering the race equipment, engineering facility, F1 memorabilia, IT and communications, office furniture and as well as private treaty sales for the race trailer fleet, the state-of-the-art race simulator, Dell HPC super computer and autoclaves,” the administrators, led by Finbarr O'Connell, said in a statement.
The first auction is scheduled for early March, and there are talks going on with at least two parties about a potential sale of the team.
Caterham, which failed to gain a single point last season, hit the skids when its Malaysian owners, led by businessman Tony Fernandes, sold the team to a consortium of Swiss and Middle Eastern investors going by the name Engavest. A dispute over ownership led to Engavest ceasing funding, leaving Caterham to turn to crowdfunding to make it to Abu Dhabi for the final race of the 2014 season.
Hopes are also fading for fellow F1 team Marussia, which was disbanded last year. The team’s assets were sold off, with its factory sold to an operation led by American businessman Gene Haas. Haas plans to field his own Ferrari-powered team in the 2016 season.
Another entity looking to see the Marussia team race this season under the Manor F1 banner has emerged but, like Caterham, looks unlikely to race in 2015. The entity would need to use Marussia’s 2014 car, whose nose section doesn’t meet the 2015 regulations. Permission to use the 2014 car is allowed if the top teams plus the FIA and F1 management unanimously agree to it, though an agreement couldn’t be reached after this week’s voting.