Caterham says F1 team not threatened despite administration process

Caterham's immediate future in Formula 1 is not threatened by the Caterham Sports Limited (CSL) company going in to administration, senior management sources insist

Caterham says F1 team not threatened despite administration process

The fate of CSL, which is a supplier to the grand prix team, has been in doubt for a few weeks after bailiffs seized items from its Leafield base to recover debts the company owed.

Now, London-based accountancy firm Smith & Williamson has been appointed as administrators to try to save it.

Although CSL shares the group name and same Leafield address as the F1 team, it is separate from the business that owns the valuable F1 licence - which is Malaysian company 1Malaysia Racing Team Sdn Bhd (1MRT).

It is understood that the majority of Caterham's staff's contracts were recently transferred over to 1MRT to further separate the racing operation.

The division of the businesses, which was central to a dispute over who owned items taken from Leafield by bailiffs, means that what happens to CSL will not impact directly on Caterham's F1 plans.

A senior source at the Caterham F1 team, with good knowledge of the situation, said he was confident that the F1 team would not be impacted.

"This should not affect the F1 operation because it is a completely separate company," the source told AUTOSPORT. "That is a fact."

A statement issued by Smith & Williamson suggested it was optimistic a solution could be found that would work for CSL's creditors and the Caterham F1 team.

"The administrators are in dialogue with 1MRT to see whether the previous service arrangements can be continued for the benefit of the creditors of the company," it said.

"Positive discussions were held between the administrators and the team manager, Manfredi Ravetto, and also with the financial backers of the team on Friday 17 October and it is hoped that these will lead to a financially acceptable arrangement for the continuation of the relationship between the Company and the F1 team."

There have been mounting frustrations this year from 1MRT's new owners about having inherited problems they were not expecting.

Ravetto told AUTOSPORT last month that the new owners were having to pull off miracles to keep the business going, even though efforts to improve the car and clear previous debts had been working.

"In this team the surprises never end," he said. "This is not nice because I believe that we restructured things in a way that we could manage the team, and we could live from what we generate in terms of income.

"If we keep having 10 surprises per day then we have to keep doing 10 miracles per day. So my concern is what happens when we run out of miracles."

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