Struggling Caterham team confirm 230 staff will be made redundant
Leafield outfit racing in Abu Dhabi but with skeleton staff
Last Updated: 17/11/14 8:02am
The Caterham Formula 1 team have made 230 staff redundant but still plan to race in this weekend's Abu Dhabi season-decider.
Administrator Finbarr O'Connell confirmed the team, who went into administration last month, would take 40 people to the Yas Marina circuit with their expenses paid with money raised through a crowd-funding initiative.
Caterham have raised £1.92 million of a targeted £2.35 million but still face an uncertain future.
O'Connell said the redundancies had come at the request of a majority of the staff who had wanted to start a formal claims process that takes at least a month before any payments are made, if the team is not sold.
"We are going to Abu Dhabi, racing and talking to potential buyers with meetings already arranged out there," he said. "The second track is that at the same time the claims forms will be up and running.
"A best outcome could be for staff to get redundancy, arrears of pay and then if someone comes along (and buys the team) they would get paid again."
O’Connell admitted time was running out for a sale but that four or five parties have expressed an interest and described one as representing a "phenomenal opportunity" if it happened.
The staff at the Leafield factory have worked without pay for the past seven weeks in a bid to keep the team alive.
O'Connell said he had first discussed redundancy with the Caterham staff last month after they were "effectively abandoned" by entry holders 1MRT, founded by Malaysian entrepreneur Tony Fernandes.
"They were very supportive but asked would I agree, if the team was not sold by Friday Nov. 14, to organise them to be made redundant," he added.
The administrator said only about 17 of the 230 had not wanted to be made redundant and they were not members of the race team.