With this tweet, Caterham F1 announced that they will be racing at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi next weekend. The crowd funding project managed to raise 80% of the funds needed and they then announced that the crowd funding would continue until the end of the race on Sunday.
Finbarr O’Connell, currently the spokesperson for Caterham’s administrators, Smith & Williamson, said that it would not have been possible for the team to have done it without the crowd funding scheme.
But with only 80% of the official target reached, it leaves some asking how they’ve raised enough to attain the rest of the money. Marcus Ericsson, confirmed at Sauber for 2015, has terminated his contract with his immediate effect, so he won’t be racing next weekend. What of Kamui Kobayashi? He was certainly unimpressed with the nature of his retirement at the team’s last Grand Prix in Russia, claiming that he didn’t know why he was asked to retire the car. It sounds as though he will keep his seat for the final race of the year – but it is with the other seat that the money has been raised.
British racing driver Alice Powell was hoping to secure a practice session with the team with money from her father’s business associates. Though this is unlikely, due to the super licence rules that Ericsson himself had to stretch for early this year.
Other sources have claimed that as many as five drivers are in contention for a seat. Perhaps Giedo van der Garde could make a last ditch return to the team, after being spurned by Sauber? Alexander Rossi was the official reserve driver earlier this year but he left to join Marussia, who are now out of business.
Whilst we await to have the driver line up for the final Grand Prix of the season confirmed, we know that there will be 20 cars on the grid for the big finale, and imagine – against all the odds – if the ‘lean green racing machine’ could score their first points. A party in Leafield either way, I feel.