I can’t be completely sure but I think the Caterham F1 debacle is starting to sound like a bad fiction novel with a chalk outline in the shape of employees. It seems that Caterham Sports Limited, in Leafield, Oxfordshire, is a group that builds Formula 1 cars for 1 Malaysia Racing Team or 1MRT. It is CSL that has been place in administration and it is also CSL that had assets seized a few weeks ago.
Now, it’s all a bit confusing and F1 journalist, Joe Saward, explains what his understanding of the ownership and possible posture of the new owners is. After reading Joe’s description, I’m still confused and that’s no fault of Joe’s because I’m no the sharpest tack on the cork board when it comes to dodgy business dealings involving shares, multiple company names and asset shuffling. I thought Joe was also on the board at one time but maybe that ended, I have no idea. Regardless, he’d know the structure of it I suspect.
Look, let me make my position very clear—this is, to quote my friend Nikki, “total bullshit” and it’s really something that we thought we had jettisoned from F1 back in the Andrea Moda days. At least HRT had the dignity to just call it quits and not drag employees, fans and the sport through emotional dodge ball.
All the shenanigans and corporate shells and goofy dealings of Tony Fernandes and this “Swiss and Middle Eastern” owner who, apparently, bought the team—it goes without saying that I have no idea what they bought at this point—is really just more of a concussion the sport and Caterham employees got from the owner of QPR.
I’ll be honest, I’m sure Tony is a nice guy but his efforts in Caterham really left me cold. I’m sure his patience ran out but the team started its nosedive when he and world-renowned technical guru, Mike Gascoyne, left the team to prattle around the ocean in a rubber life raft and run the Caterham road car company. From a fan’s perspective, that’s “aggravatin’”.
So there is one company in receivership, another company that is said to own the F1 entry and some group of investors three company names buried in asset and shares as some entity that no one can name other than the patronizingly numb racial component of “Swiss” and “Middle Eastern”—what the hell? Is this Omega and Etihad? I suspect we can find their press releases now behind the water pipes in the men’s bathroom at Paddington Station..along with a bear?
The biggest tragedy is the fine men and women working for…well, the group that is still racing and trying to make cars whoever that is. I feel sorry for Marcus Ericsson and Kamui Kobayashi as well. The group was keen to counter-sue ex-employees but the sound of crickets can be heard now.
Good news, I just checked their website and that’s still up so things must be moving forward. Ugh, those poor folks trying to get the cars to Austin and keep the plates spinning. Time for the “Swiss” and “Middle Eastern” folks to start talking and getting involved and get this ship straightened out.