I’ve just learned today that, since Friday, Caterham F1 has raised over £1 million of the £2.35 million it needs to race in Abu Dhabi.
Some result. More than I thought it would raise anyway. Still a long way to go with a deadline of 14 November but let’s be positive. Pop over to the Crowdcube website and pledge an amount, even if it’s just a fiver. Supporters may receive something novel from support badges and T-shirts to a one-off opportunity to get their name on the Caterham F1 car.
Finbarr O’Connell, Caterham Sports Limited’s administrator told me:
“I’m not packing my toothbrush as yet and there is still a lot of fundraising to be done. We’ve been approached by a number of people from Simon Ward, the artist, offering to produce an original artwork, and 500 prints of it, to trading partners who are offering their support. They want to see the Caterham F1 team back on the grid.
“Most importantly, a new financially sound interested party has entered the arena and is considering acquiring the team. This new interest is wholly due to this campaign.”
The latter sounds promising although it’s all too little, too late. After team meetings in Brazil today it sounds as though Bernie et al are washing their hands of it all. Some of the comments they’ve been making are quite outrageous.
I can’t see it but apparently there has also been a bit of confusion about the purpose of the #RefuelCaterhamF1 crowd funding project, claims O’Connell. The plan is not to run an F1 team by using crowdfunding but rather this funding is providing a supposed lifeline for the team. One would have thought this was obvious. I therefore don’t think the comment from Red Bull’s Christian Horner about the merits or otherwise of funding an F1 team via crowdfunding is either timely or relevant.
It’s a desperate move which has a very slim chance of succeeding. But if you were in Caterham’s position you’d try anything. Clearly the administrator has run out of options. If teams don’t race they won’t attract a purchaser. Well, that’s the theory anyway.
Don’t also forget the human element to all this. The 200 people in Leafield, in the Prime Minister’s constituency incidentally, have been working without pay for the last six weeks. Without them there would be no team and they deserve all our support. Chew on that Bernie.