Ecclestone rejects Caterham 'begging bowl'

Sat Nov 8, 2014 9:03am EST
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By Alan Baldwin

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone slammed Caterham's plan to raise funds from fans as a disaster for the sport on Saturday and ruled out putting any money of his own in the "begging bowl".

British-based Caterham, who have not scored a point since their debut in 2010, went into administration last month and are absent from this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix after missing the previous race in Texas.

The administrator and interim principal announced a crowd-funding scheme on Friday to raise 2.35 million pounds ($3.73 million) from fans and companies to get the team to Abu Dhabi for the final race on Nov 23.

The website ( showed 512,263 pounds had been contributed by Saturday afternoon.

"I think it’s a disaster," Ecclestone told reporters. "We don’t want begging bowls. If people can’t afford to be in Formula One, they have to find something else to do."

Asked whether he was ready to help the team if they were slightly short of the target when the deadline expired, he offered a one word reply: "No.

"If I sit in a poker game and I can’t afford to be there with the other people, I get killed and have to leave," the 84-year-old added when pressed.

Ecclestone gave both Caterham and tail-end rivals Marussia, who have now folded and made all their 200 staff redundant, a special dispensation to miss the U.S. and Brazil races but he made clear that did not apply to Abu Dhabi.   Continued...

Formula One commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone arrives for the drivers' parade before the first Russian Grand Prix in Sochi October 12, 2014. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh