October 31, 2014 / 6:43 PM / 4 years ago

Caterham F1 team have two weeks to find a buyer

AUSTIN Texas (Reuters) - The Caterham Formula One team may have to be wound up if a buyer does not emerge in the next two weeks, an administrator said on Friday.

Caterham Formula One driver Kamui Kobayashi of Japan drives out from the pits during final practice ahead of the British Grand Prix at the Silverstone Race Circuit, central England, July 5, 2014. REUTERS/Paul Hackett

“We’re continuing our efforts to try and find a buyer for the team, bearing in mind the workforce are the lifeblood of the team,” Henry Shinners told Sky television outside the closed factory in England.

“We feel that if a buyer doesn’t come forward in the next two weeks then we’ll probably have to wind it down.”

Caterham and tail-end rivals Marussia are both in administration and absent from this weekend’s U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, with only nine teams competing.

They will also miss the Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo the following weekend with only Abu Dhabi remaining after that on Nov. 23.

Some 200 jobs are at stake at Caterham, who are based at Leafield near Oxford, and Shinners said salaries had not been paid for October.

The team was founded by Malaysian aviation entrepreneur Tony Fernandes and entered the sport in 2010. They failed to score a point and the sale of the team was announced in July.

In a separate statement, Shinners’ employers Smith & Williamson said they remained in talks with a number of “credible, interested parties” about buying the team.

“Our current strategy is to seek a buyer that will allow the team to compete in the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi...and we are doing all we can to make that happen,” they said.

“We are working with our specialist corporate finance team to manage the sale process and we have received several expressions of interest from parties with the financial strength to fund an F1 race team. These conversations are ongoing.”

Editing by Tony Jimenez

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