Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has granted Caterham F1 special dispensation to miss the upcoming US and Brazilian grands prix while the team searches for a new buyer.
Administrators took control of the Oxfordshire-based squad yesterday following a week of turmoil, which saw founder Tony Fernandes and new owners Engavest SA embroiled in a row over ownership, threatening the team’s future in the sport.
With administrators facing a race against time to arrange finances to allow the team to compete in Austin next weekend, F1 boss Ecclestone has granted the team permission to miss the next two races in America and Brazil to aid the process.
Ecclestone has also supported the administrators plan to sell the team to a buyer deemed fit to sustain it’s future in motorsport’s top tier.
A statement from London-based accountancy firm Smith and Williamson confirmed several parties have been interested in purchasing the outfit.
“In a telephone conversation today between Finbarr O’Connell and Bernie Ecclestone, Mr Ecclestone agreed to support the administrators in their wish to sell the Formula One team to a party with the financial strength to sustain it into the future,” read the statement.
“Mr Ecclestone also agreed to give dispensation to Caterham F1 such that it could, if necessary, miss the US and Brazilian Grands Prix, but hoped that a new owner would be in a position to race the team at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
“Mr Colin Kolles, the previous principal of the team, offered today to hand over management control of 1MRT to the administrators. Lawyers for the administrators and Mr Kolles are currently working on the paperwork to effect this transfer.
“The administrators have already been contacted by a number of interested parties expressing a wish to buy the team and they hope a transaction with an operator of substantial financial means can be concluded in the next few weeks.”
“It is hoped that any purchaser of the F1 team will take over the employees and they will be able to recommence their work including that at the Leafield site.”
The team is yet to officially confirm whether it will attend next week’s US GP at Austin.