Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone slammed Caterham’s plan to raise funds from fans as a disaster for the sport and ruled out putting any money of his own in the “begging bowl”.
British-based Caterham, who have not scored a point since their debut in 2010, went into administration last month and are absent from this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix after missing the previous race in Texas.
The administrator and interim principal announced a crowd-funding scheme on Friday to raise $3.73m from fans and companies to get the team to Abu Dhabi for the final race on Nov 23.
The website (www.crowdcube.com/caterham) showed £512,263 had been contributed by Saturday afternoon.
“I think it’s a disaster,” Ecclestone told reporters. “We don’t want begging bowls. If people can’t afford to be in Formula One, they have to find something else to do.”
Asked whether he was ready to help the team if they were slightly short of the target when the deadline expired, he offered a one word reply: “No. 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 crowd funding initiative came on the day administrators for rivals Marussia announced that team was closing with some 200 staff made redundant.