Caterham Sports Limited (CSL), the Leafield-based company who makes F1 cars under contract for 1 Malaysia Racing Team (1MRT), has gone into administration leaving the Caterham F1 Team facing an uncertain future.
With just over a week until the United States Grand Prix in Austin, administrator Smith & Williamson says CSL owes Â£20m to outside suppliers and around 200 jobs could be under threat.
“I’m trying to enter into an arrangement with 1MRT whereby they (employees) can stay here at the Leafield site,” said Finbarr O’Connell from Smith & Williamson. “If I can reach an agreement with them then hopefully jobs are not at risk.
“If I can’t reach an agreement then all those employees, 1MRT will have to decide what to do with them, but they won’t be at the Leafield site.”
According to the administrator Caterham team manager Manfredi Ravetto has had “positive discussions” with financial backers hoping to ensure the relationship with CSL can carry on.
If an agreement cannot be reached then it’s possible Caterham F1 Team won’t have any cars to race in Austin and Smith & Williamson will begin to liquidate CSL.
Caterham’s future has been rocky since Tony Fernandes sold the F1 team in July. To add to the dramas faced by the team Kamui Kobayashi said he was “seriously troubled” about the safety of his car going into the Russian Grand Prix.