Forza Jules: 4 Wheels follows 2 with Depleted Grid

First of all apologies for a lack of posting, and secondly we’d like to wish Jules Bianchi all the best with his recovery after his horrific accident at Suzuka a few weeks ago. Anyone who’s seen the accident knows it was incredibly serious and it may be some time before we know the full extent of his injuries and what sort of recovery we can expect.

On to the current race weekend at Austin that will see only 18 cars take to the grid as Caterham and Marussia have both gone into administration, furthermore Force India narrowly avoided defaulting on their Mercedes engine payments that would of also left them sidelined.

Despite Bernie’s insistence that he doesn’t really care for the smaller teams and wishes to run 3 car teams this reduced grid could of hardly come at a worse race for the sport after the 2005 debacle at Indianapolis that saw only 3 teams run and effectively sank F1 in the states for many years. With the payments due very soon for next years entry recovery deals must be done quickly and both teams are in a race against time to shore up a recovery deal. In this post we take a look at the teams that are currently struggling and what chance they have of fielding a challenger in 2015.

Caterham0 Points
Caterham were sold some months back to a group of mysterious investors from the Middle East and Europe. At first the deal seemed to be solid as Tony Fernandes had finally run out of patience for his F1 outfit that had failed to drag itself off the bottom of the F1 table into a meaningful outfit. However after laying off staff and saying the team was far too big and installing new people at the top the team has folded.

The main problem appears to be an issue of who owns what, there is one company that owns the F1 entry but a myriad of other companies that own the premises and the cars and the manufacturing equipment. Why this is the case no one really knows and it has come back to bite them. Even the administrators who shut the doors to the factory to try and untangle the mess had no idea what belonged to whom.

Unfortunately I can’t see this being resolved in time for next year, never mind making the last race. This web of companies needs to be consolidated but that can’t be done overnight and without the whole race team and the entry any sale is essentially useless.

Marussia2 Points
Marussia have had some year of ups and downs, a lean mean F1 outfit managed to make a decent (by their standards) F1 car that’s outpaced Caterham most of the year and a clever drive by Jules Bianchi saw him collect the first points in Monaco for any of the teams from the class of 2010. This sets them up to collect a large windfall in terms of prize money.

However Jules is currently in hospital and the team is in administration and like Caterham it hasn’t made the plane to Austin and Brazil. However unlike their main rivals they have a pretty plain setup and the administrator has kept the factory open and there are a few serious offer on the table for someone to buy the team from the current Russian owner.

The main issue is valuation, Andrei Tsheglakov wasnts around $10 million more than most people think the team is worth. However the team is still open and its just going to be a case of who blinks first, if Sauber also nick a point or two at the next few races expect the price to drop further as the prize money will be gone. But they will be rescued in time and Id expect them to be racing in Abu Dhabi.


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