Ecclestone: Caterham crowd funding a disaster


Bernie Ecclestone has branded Caterham's crowd funding project a "disaster"

Just hours after administrators revealed that Marussia had ceased trading after failing to meet its financial deadline, rivals Caterham launched a crowd funding project aimed at getting the Leafield based outfit on to the grid in Abu Dhabi. Should the bid fail, as is the case with Marussia, in missing three races the team would lose its place in the standings and thereby forfeit any prize monies due.

Consequently, the administrators for Caterham have announced details of a crowd funding project aimed at raising the necessary 2.35m to contest the season finale in two weeks.

Despite raising 514k (at the time of writing), 21% of the total amount needed, F1 supremo Ecclestone is not impressed, far from it.

"I think it's a disaster," he told reporters at Interlagos. "We don't want begging bowls. If people can't afford to be in Formula One, they have to find something else to do.

"If I sit in a poker game and I can't afford to be there with the other people, I get killed and have to leave," he continued, adding that he will not 'top up' the required amount should the project miss its target.

"The trouble is they haven't really understood," he said. "People want to win, all the teams here want to win. Some teams have got more money and they spend it. When I had a race team (Brabham) a few years ago - in fact a few hundred years ago - I used to run the team according to how much money we could spend and we won the world championship. That's what they don't do. They don't seem to understand that somebody is going to be last."

While CVC is understood to have stepped in last week in Austin following threats of a boycott by three teams (Lotus, Force India and Sauber), Ecclestone has downplayed talk of a 100m rescue package. CVC isn't allowed to come up with any further money and therefore it would need to come out of the prize pot, something the other teams will never agree to.

Indeed, citing the fact that between them the teams receive "almost a billion a year", Ecclestone has little sympathy.

"They have a contract until 2020. They know exactly what the terms are. So they have to run their business according to their income. If they spend more than they get, it's not a good way to run a business," he added.

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Published: 08/11/2014
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