Caterham F1 team says racing in Abu Dhabi key to survival chances

Caterham's administrator says the decision to race in the season finale in Abu Dhabi was essential to give it a chance of Formula 1 survival

Caterham F1 team says racing in Abu Dhabi key to survival chances

While rival Marussia has closed down, with its assets due to be sold off at auction later this month, Caterham is still in talks with potential purchasers.

And although there is no guarantee a deal can be reached, acting team principal Finbarr O'Connell says that the profile boost Caterham got from racing in Abu Dhabi delivered a boost to its hopes of finding a buyer.

"We are talking to a very serious party who, if we had not gone to Abu Dhabi, we would not be talking to," O'Connell told AUTOSPORT.

"It justifies what we have done.

"We were blown over by how successful an idea it was [to race], plus the enthusiasm it got.

"It achieved everything we wanted."

As well as boosting interest from buyers, Caterham's presence in Abu Dhabi has also made other teams more aware of its plight.

In both Abu Dhabi, and in last week's F1 Commission meeting in Geneva, rival teams indicated that they would not necessarily oppose the idea of the team running a 2014 car or engine if it would help it survive.

The prospect of not needing to design a bespoke 2015 car could hand Caterham valuable extra weeks to find a purchaser - with the team initially having laid down a pre-Christmas deadline to secure a buyer.

O'Connell said the support of rival teams had been welcome, as he sensed there was a wider desire to see Caterham survive.

"The support in the paddock is absolutely phenomenal," said O'Connell, with Caterham only racing in Abu Dhabi thanks to support from partners including Red Bull, Renault and Pirelli.

"They have really supported us, and they have a vested interest in us surviving. It's been amazing."

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