Caterham seeks £2.35m crowdfund to make return

2014 F1 season

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The Caterham F1 team is seeking backing of £2.35m in order for it to appear at the final round of the championship in Abu Dhabi.

It has begun a crowdfunding drive seeking donations towards its goal. Caterham says it is “giving both fans and sponsors a unique opportunity to be the driving force behind the team by crowdfunding its return to the grid in exchange for once-in-a-lifetime rewards”.

Caterham went into administration following the Russian Grand Prix. The team was sold by Tony Fernandes to Engavest in July. However the two parties became involved in a dispute over responsibility for the team last month.

The team did not compete in the previous round in America and is not in Brazil for this weekend’s race. However if it reaches its donations target within eight days the team believes it can “go racing in Abu Dhabi and hopefully beyond”.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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76 comments on “Caterham seeks £2.35m crowdfund to make return”

  1. This is just sad.

    1. They are asking 2.35 million pounds to compete in Abu Dhabi and then what? fold out, presumably?…

      This is just ridiculous… why should we pay for a team? they have a whole organization raking billions and they are asking people, that already pay huge prices for tickets and TV footage, to fund their efforts?

      Whoever is putting money on this is either too rich or too crazy…

      1. whats 2.35 million pounds to Reubens?

    2. We pay for them to find time to get a buyer and all the money goes to them. This is the most stupid thing to do. I don’t say it may not work, but if you own a company and are looking to sell it, you may as well just bring out that money yourself and give the company even more value.

      1. My guess is they want to make sure they get in the last race, complete the season, secure “10th place” now that Marussia is out, get what prize money they can…and then fold like orgami. But I’m a cynic.
        F1 is truly in a sorry state of affairs.

  2. Lol you might as well just literally throw your money down the drain.

    1. Hm, seems not everyone agrees. I had a look right now and apparently they have 18 people put in a total of 104,822 GBP already.

      1. Perhaps Kamui’s fans are emptying their pockets again @bascb

        1. wait, you think Kimi will be out at Ferrari and needs a spot to land at Caterham then @debaser91? :-o

          1. KAMUI, not Kimi lol

          2. LOL, yes that makes more sense (hm, although I can see Ferrari thinking of dumping kimie)

      2. @bascb It seemed like one person gave £100k, as I saw it one minute was about 4,5k, a few minutes later it was 105k.

        1. And since then (about half an hour ago) only +2k were added.

        2. That was Rubens…

    2. @debaser91 If the target is not reached, any money pledged will be returned.

  3. Fan funding is just not possible in F1, because you need money for technical updates and research. Its possible in football where fixed funding is needed, just salaries, jersies, etc

    1. It is to buy them time to sell the team before next season. I assume they’d pay for the teams entry for 2015 from the fund and also salaries.

  4. I’d rather give money to Bernie.


    2. It would be giving money to Bernie!

  5. If they only need £2.35m surely CVC can pay it. Seeing a team standing on the street with their begging bowl is not good for F1.

    1. I don’t think that, pouring £2.35m down the drain, is a good businesses model for CVC.

  6. Interesting. Not sure what to think of this

  7. The ultimate pay driver solution. A different pairing every weekend. Bring it on!!!

    1. There’s probably scope for a 4th driver to race in Abu Dhabi if the team makes it there.. now what was Rubens saying??

  8. The fund was around £4,700 when I refreshed and suddenly it’s past £105,000. Given only 21 people had contributed up to this point, it looks rather like someone just chipped in £100,000.

    To put that into perspective, Brabham’s crowdfunding operation has been running for weeks and accumulated £244,000 so far:

    1. You got a like to the fund sum update?

      1. It’s in the article.

    2. I’d rather fund Brabham.

      1. me too, brabhams idea is novel and sustainable I believe, and a good idea for motorsport. caterham just seems desperate, and a way to make money for creditors in the short term on something that is doomed. fans may get a return on the brabham project, and it will likely be long term. as for caterham, it is just begging, and if they make enough money the fans will see no return, the caterham team will struggle more then they have for the past few years with REAL invested money.

    3. Definitely something not right there. Cause if you manually calculate based on the rewards taken so far, it can’t even go past 10,000 GBP.

      1. “£1 or more” – there’s probably no limit on how much you can pledge to donate?

        1. As @fastiesty mentions that option leaves it to the contributer to enter any amount of at least £1 Himmat.

    4. @keithcollantine This is using the power of ‘social proof’ – start off by getting a few high profile backers who were already like up, to put in mega contributions to start with so it looks like people are really eager to pump money into the venture. It’s the kind of thing dodgy market sellers do when peddling tat – get people to pose as enthusiastic customers so that bystanders think they’re getting something worthwhile.

      1. And if the money is only pledged not paid unless they reach their total I wouldn’t be surprised if the 100K came from one BCE.

    5. maarten.f1 (@)
      7th November 2014, 17:05

      @keithcollantine I doubt someone chipped in that much. At this point it looks like the most someone donated is between £2,500 and £2,999, since all the rewards above £3,000 are still available (at the time I’m writing this).

      It’s a lot of money they need, it’ll be interesting to see if they can get that much. So far they’ve gotten less than 5% of what’s needed.

      1. work it out, and read the comments, it was a single donation of £100,000 by someone with more money than sense and no sense of shame. It’s been rising slowly since, silly people. This is exactly what Bernie didn’t want (begging bowl), so maybe people are doing it to annoy him. Personally I think it stinks, it’s degrading and pathetic. It’s shameful and all the other teams on the grid rightly think the same. As has been said it’s a way for them to attempt to “complete” the season to get some extra cash, which is totally pointless as they are in so much debt it won’t be a drop in the ocean. Give your money to a worthy charity, not this farce.

      2. It’s likely someone from the ownership of the team who made a 100k bid. To make it look more successful and like less of a longshot to encourage more people to chip in. If the campaign succeeds, that person isn’t really out any money.

        Unrelated: I wonder what the reaction would be if the far-more-lovable Marussia had tried this?

    6. I am wondering how they can actually do this. As far as I’m aware they are in Administration, have huge debts & this means any money/assets etc are ring-fenced to pay off any creditors/employees/and if they’re lucky (no chance) people owed money further down the line.

  9. If every F1 fan cared enough to give just €1 there would be no more starving F1 teams. Call Sally Struthers, I think she is available.

    1. “If every F1 fan did the jobs of the F1 owners, there would be no more starving F1 teams..”

    2. Every fan has already given a lot more than €1 and we’re still in this mess. Add up everything you’ve spent on F1 – tickets, TV subscriptions, T-shirts and other clothing, models, posters, books etc – since you started following F1 and you’ll be amazed at just how much you’ve given to the sport.
      The problem isn’t a lack of money, it’s how that money is distributed and for the last decade about half of it has gone to CVC, Bernie and the other owners when it should have gone back into the sport.

  10. The benefit is all with the administrators: take $$ from fans so they can collect their £11M 10th place winnings. They don’t make mention of this little fact on the website.

    1. Indeed. But the ‘and beyond’ part makes me wonder if the continuation of the 10th place money, that Marussia has now given up to Caterham, means that the team could now continue into 2015 and 2016, if it makes Abu Dhabi..

  11. Are the rewards the parts that the bailiffs missed? I guess that the pit crew won’t need their gloves or boots after Abu Dhabi since they won’t be in the pit in 2015.

  12. So, we (F1 fans) are already paying a lot of money to see races in live and on TV because CVC asks tracks a lot of money, and now Catheram want us to pay for them because CVC takes too much of the money F1 generates? Now way I’m giving a single dollar.

  13. It’s pocket money to CVC. They should settle this now as its bad for the image of the sport to have one of the entries going around with a begging bowl. And then they need to restructure the division of the profits long term.

  14. I hope no f1 fan gives any money to caterham, if they do, they are giving money to a system that has caterham doomed anyway. their own billionaire owner didn’t have the guts to give up 2.3 million, what does that say? as fans, I think the best think to do is let these teams fail so that change will happen when there is not enough teams. f1 needs an overhaul for modern times, and we should not do fan crowd sourcing as an interim fix to keep one failed team to survive for one more failed year.

  15. Steph (@stephanief1990)
    7th November 2014, 16:21

    I despair at humanity. Seriously. This will probably raise more in a week than most charities will raise in a year. It’s just ridiculous and for what? A race and then they’ll sell the team off to the highest bidder? Yeah, really deserving cause.

    1. People in the UK gave over £4 million to the DEC Ebola campaign in just 2 days and in 2012 we gave more than £9 billion to charity, and that doesn’t include the £billions spent by the Department for International Development and other charitable projects that are funded through taxes.

      1. Steph (@stephanief1990)
        7th November 2014, 17:09

        I’m aware of that @beneboy but that doesn’t mean there’s not serious issues which are ignored. For instance, in the UK poverty is soaring and child poverty in particular is at a record high. Inequality has been compared to countries such as the Ivory Coast. Homelessness is soaring and there’s a plethora other serious issues we are facing.

        People can do that @f1bobby , I’m not saying they can’t. What I’m saying is they’re free to do that but I’m also free to think it’s utterly pathetic to donate to this rather than an actual cause or charity. This isn’t spending/buying this is *donating*.

        1. @stephanief1990 @beneboy @f1bobby I would say that the current state of F1 is an interesting allegory for the state of the UK.. in both, there is enough money, but the scale of inequality is the true problem. Both are also ran with a focus on the rich, by the rich. And the people who are giving money to charity, are probably the same people that are trying to give money to Caterham F1.

        2. So, to clarify, people are free to make their own decisions about where and how to spend their money, they’re just ‘utterly pathetic’ when they don’t spend it piously.

          I think it would be safest if people sought your commendation first before donating to anything Steph. ;)

        3. The only people ignoring child poverty are the Conservative party, the rest of the country are trying to do something about it.
          There have always been serious problems in the world but the answer isn’t to stop spending money on everything else as in most cases it wouldn’t make any difference as they’re caused by political problems.
          Supporting this project will make no difference to government policies regarding child poverty or any other serious problem and is unlikely to have much effect on the amount given to charity.

          1. Steph (@stephanief1990)
            7th November 2014, 20:38

            @beneboy not true as the Lib Dems are helping them, the vast majority of the public think people on welfare are scroungers and the Labour Party keep attacking the most vulnerable too. There are thousands of wonderful volunteers, carers, supporters etc in the country but generally we’re in quite a bad state. That’s probably for a different forum though but I’d happily discuss it with you any time. I’m also not saying it will make a difference, I’m just saying that to me crowd funding and donating are supposed to be about charity and this is really a farce, especially when this will undoubtedly raise hundreds of thousands when so many people desperate for help are overlooked in society. I just question our values.

            @npf1 this is exactly why I rarely engage in “debates” about F1; people ignore nuance or that people can hold more than one thought in their head at a time. I’m well aware of all those stats, I spend the majority of my free time campaigning and volunteering on equality issues. I never said they weren’t depressing – in fact, the exact opposite. What I’m saying is I do think that people donating to this is a complete waste of time. First it will achieve nothing to help the workers struggling, it will just achieve a team going to one race and then for it to be sold off to whoever – it could be anyone. It’s not a good opportunity, and it’s not even a heart warming oh how nice for the team opportunity. It’s completely cynical.

            Obviously people can donate where they want, after Kamui receiving thousands I’ve no doubt people would end up buying ice off Ebay for the right price but I am allowed to think it is a complete waste of time. Do something nice and adopt a donkey or something. It would go round Abu Dhabi quicker than a Caterham anyway.

    2. Have you considered that people can donate to charity and also spend money elsewhere?

    3. @stephanief1990 You’ve not seen the profits of mobile gaming apps, gambling, alcohol, tobacco or the money spent on illegal drugs or trafficking then? Those numbers are far more depressing than any F1 fan donating will ever get.

  16. Bear in mind, the only reason they want to do this, is to secure the 10th place in the WCC so that they have a little more money to pay off their creditors/suppliers before they wrap up operations at the end of the season. With no funding in place next year, even if they won at Abu Dhabi they wouldn’t be able to continue for next season.

    What they need is a buyer. But who would buy a team which has poured so much money down the drain and achieved nothing? Marrussia might be a worthwhile investment, but Caterham? Forget it.

  17. Surely there’s a couple of drivers that could rustle up 500k each? Sell the driver slots for FP1 and FP2 separately. Then sell the race slots separately.

  18. But the question is: WHY do fans have to fund an ongoing business concern?? Caterhram is NOT a charity last time i checked. Neither have they offered an IPO.
    So if i fund a team that is in F1 to make money, will i be getting a “dividend” back at the end of the year? This is a silly idea; and shame on a company driven by capitalist notions for floating it in the first place. This is simply an affront to any sensible individual or fan!

  19. Crowdfunding for innovative projects and the like is one thing (I don’t really buy into it, but no matter), but crowdfunding a failing racing outfit with no prospects of further development so they can have one last kick at the can? Just like everything else about F1, there’s some real life perspective seriously wanting there.

  20. There is just no sense in this. There’s a picture of their 2013 car in the video (promoting sponsors who are no longer involved with the team, if there are any), the set up of their page is weird (oh yeah, I now totally want to fund them to get 10th again. Just once.) and full of weird lines like this: “The team successfully achieved its year one goal and then in 2011 consolidated its tenth place in the Championship and giving itself the perfect platform to head into 2013.” Did 2012 not happen?

    This entire thing is just so weird. Why would the administrators try to crowdfund the team? Selling sponsor space for 2000 dollars?

    I really feel bad for their employees. Are their jobs dependent on crowdfunding?

    This just raises more questions and frankly, I don’t see these guys coming back either…

  21. Well, it’s desperate but you can’t say they’re not trying!

  22. Bernie should have paid this to avoid this embarrassment to F1. Pocket change compared to his German trial.

  23. A disgrace, nothing else. Teams come and go and some achieve nothing like Caterham have. They have no right to be in F1 and to now ask the fans to pay is nothing short of embarrassing. Leave now and stop the shame for the rest of the teams who struggle but still survive. The distribution of funds is wrong but they have contributed nothing to the sport and left a mountain of debt under the various management guises. Think of it as being your child and another 25 similar in a class being held back because one child can’t keep up.

  24. Pay drivers were not enough, now we have pay fans.

  25. I’m thinking of pledging the 45k for the hospitality pass. Then when they come to collect it, I’ll run away through the back door.
    I really do hope they fail.

  26. I’m sorry. they started at the back of the grid and held up front runners at their best days. no thank you.

  27. Ridiculous, disgusting, shameless.

  28. I’d buy a few of the parts if I was rich, but wouldn’t be doing it to ‘fund’ them.

  29. I personally think F1 should have evolvedby now!! Having cars rrelegated to second division if not in top 10, And obviously having better sharing of the money like the England Premier league! We are suppose to be having 15 teams waiting for a chance to be promoted into F1!? But I guess B.E & CVC are plain greedy

  30. “a once in a lifetime opportunity to get your name on the Caterham F1 car competing in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix”

    Yeah, no. My name was on Jenson’s Honda for a whole season. And they did that for free.
    Sorry, but this is just sad. Crowdfunding was a good idea when it started but now it’s just “I’ll let someone else pay my bills”.

    I think every F1 fan should just take these 10 quid and donate it to humane society. I’ll do that now.

    1. Wow. I thought this “name on the car” would cost £10. It’s actually £1000 o.O

  31. Well, this has pushed me to look at funding Brabham’s interesting proposal. Fans sinking money into Caterham at this stage is like putting a plaster on an axe wound.

  32. Is this a crowd funding scheme to able the team to compete? OR is this a way to gather money to pay the debts?! Which is a sick way of doing things…

    I believe the later is the one, as the organizers are the ones directed connect to those who are dealing with the team’s bankruptcy, so, for that reason…I’m out!

  33. crowdfunding is like investing….except you dont get a share of the company nor do you get any divedends…so whats the point…furthermore, caterham has had such a crappy time in F1…so why do they wanna come back..if they wanna leave then just leave

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