Caterham F1 team makes 230 staff redundant

Sun Nov 16, 2014 6:40pm EST
 
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - The Caterham Formula One team have made 230 staff redundant while still planning to race in next weekend's Abu Dhabi season-ender, an administrator said on Sunday.

Finbarr O'Connell told Reuters that the team, who went into administration last month, would take 40 people to the Yas Marina circuit with their expenses to be paid with money raised through a crowd-funding initiative.

Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi will resume his role with Caterham at the race, a team statement said, with the other driver to be announced in due course after Swede Marcus Ericsson severed ties with the team ahead of a move to Sauber for next season.

Caterham raised 1.92 million pounds ($3.01 million) of a targeted 2.35 million pounds by last Friday, with the deadline reset to midnight on Nov. 23, but still face an uncertain future.

O'Connell said the redundancies had come at the request of a majority of the staff who had wanted to start a formal claims process that takes at least a month before any payments are made, if the team is not sold.

"We are going to Abu Dhabi, racing and talking to potential buyers with meetings already arranged out there," he said. "The second track is that, at the same time the claims forms will be up and running.

"A best outcome could be for staff to get redundancy, arrears of pay and then if someone comes along (and buys the team) they would get paid again."

O'Connell acknowledged he was in a 'race against time' but there were four or five interested parties with the necessary funds, including one that would be a "phenomenal opportunity" if it happened.   Continued...

 
A member of the Caterham Formula One team cleans one of the team vehicles ahead of the British Grand Prix at the Silverstone race circuit, central England, July 3, 2014. REUTERS/Phil Noble/Files