Ecclestone and others slam Caterham's 'begging bowl'

Bernie Ecclestone is condemning the crowdfunding effort Caterham has started.

Nov.8 (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone has joined those who are heavily critical of Caterham's plea for fans' money to get the struggling team back on track.

This cynical crowd funding ploy from Caterham's administrators makes me sick to my stomach. Preying on fan kindness.

Will Buxton

In administration and missing in Austin and Brazil, the outfit has launched a crowdfunding scheme to raise the almost $4 million it says it needs to make it to this year's Abu Dhabi finale.

One last shot

It is a last roll of the dice for the beleaguered Tony Fernandes-founded outfit, with F1 chief executive Ecclestone warning on Saturday that if Caterham doesn't race in Abu Dhabi, the team will lose its place on the 2015 grid.

"Yes, absolutely," he told reporters at Interlagos.

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

Bernie Ecclestone on Caterham

"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," the 84-year-old Briton added.

Red Bull's Christian Horner has already slammed Caterham's public appeal for money, even though the backmarker team has already raised a surprising $800,000 -- more than 20 per cent of the funds it needs for Abu Dhabi.

Wurz and Buxton slam Caterham

But GPDA president Alex Wurz agrees with Horner.

"Since I've been in Formula One, and that's a few years, it has always been extremely tight with the teams at the back end," the Austrian is quoted by German broadcaster Sky.

NBC's Will Buxton commented on it as well, saying on Twitter, "If you've got some spare £,€ or $, there are amazing charities who could use your support. An F1 team is not a charity. It is a business. This cynical crowd funding ploy from Caterham's administrators makes me sick to my stomach. Preying on fan kindness."

"Crowd funding seems only to allow Caterham to get to AD, finish 10th, pick up the $11m, pay off the creditors and close the doors. Cynical."

No compassion for Caterham

"Some teams spend more than they have. They knew the economic conditions, they voluntarily signed up for F1 and they didn't manage their money properly.

"For teams like this, I do not have so much compassion," Wurz admitted.

Ecclestone, meanwhile, returned to his now familiar "begging bowl" theme to reject Caterham's crowdfunding plea.

A couple of weeks ago, when bailiffs were seizing Caterham's assets and advertising them for sale on Twitter, Ecclestone had said: "I think it's better they go.

'It's a disaster'

"I don't want people going around with begging bowls."

Now, as Caterham puts its hand out to its fans, he said of the crowdfunding project: "I think it's a disaster.

"We don't want begging bowls. If people can't afford to be in Formula One they have to find something else to do."

Ecclestone also had bad news for angry privateers Lotus, Force India and Sauber on Saturday, as he was asked for an update on behind the scenes talks about a so-called $160 million 'fighting fund'.

Asked if the sport's owner CVC is prepared to release the money, he told Britain's Sky: "We're not allowed to.

"The only way that that could ever happen is if the (other) teams agree to share their money. They are getting nearly a billion, so maybe they can chip a few quid in between them," added Ecclestone.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Alexander Wurz , Bernie Ecclestone
Teams Sauber , Force India
Article type Breaking news
Tags caterham, crowdfunding, will buxton