LONDON (Reuters) - Caterham will be allowed to compete in Formula One next season with this year’s car if they find a buyer to keep them in business, the team’s administrator said on Monday.
Finbarr O’Connell, who works for Smith & Williamson, told Reuters that the governing International Automobile Federation had agreed the dispensation at a meeting last week of the Formula One commission.
The move still needs to be ratified by the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council in Doha on Wednesday.
“It was proposed as something to help Caterham and Marussia but will be available to any team if they want to apply to the FIA,” said O’Connell.
While Caterham are hoping to find a new owner, Marussia have ceased trading and their assets are due to be auctioned off later this month.
The dispensation means there is less immediate pressure on Caterham, since they will no longer have to design and build a new car in time for the start of the 2015 season in Australia on March 15.
However O’Connell, who said last month he hoped to secure a deal before Christmas, felt it was still important to sort out matters in the next few weeks if former staff were not to drift away.
He said there were “two very interested parties and a number of others who I feel are not as interested” and was encouraging them to move as quickly as possible.
British-based Caterham, who used Renault engines this year, have yet to score a point in five years in the sport and were last in the championship.
The team were founded by Malaysian AirAsia airline entrepreneur Tony Fernandes, who also runs Premier League soccer club Queens Park Rangers.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Justin Palmer