Sunday, November 16, 2014

Crowd Sends Caterham Packing for Abu Dhabi F1 Finale

Photo Credit: Caterham F1 Team/ Charles Coates/LAT Photographic

While the likelihood of success for some of the habitually slower cars winning a grand prix race is slim, a deep Formula 1 field makes for a better spectacle. Through the recent visit to the Americas for the United States Grand Prix and Brazilian Grand Prix, there were two fewer teams part of the trek. Caterham F1 Team and Marussia F1 lost what was a struggle to keep their cars on the track for the full 19-race 2014 Formula 1 season. With the subtraction of 4 cars, events at the Circuit of the Americas and Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace consisted of  just 18 cars. Those two races had the fewest starters since the bizarre 2005 US Grand Prix at Indianapolis where only six cars started due to problems with tires supplied by Michelin. For what will be the final event of the 2014 season occurring November 21st to 23rd, one of the wayward Formula 1 teams will rejoin the grid.

The green machines fielded by Caterham F1 will be part of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix thanks in large part to fan reaction to a crowdsourced financing method. Operated under the social media hashtag #RefuelCaterhamF1, Leafield stationed race team raised enough money for their symbolic single race effort by canvassing for online donations through Crowdcube. The current administrator of Caterham Sports Limited Finbarr O'Connell responded to the achievement saying, “We set ourselves a major challenge, but it’s definitely been worth it! In only a week the fans have made the impossible, possible. We knew that the best way to keep this team alive and attract possible buyers was to show that it’s still a racing team and be in Abu Dhabi for the finale, and there aren’t enough words to say how grateful we are to all the fans that have made this possible."

During the past week, financial contributors provided money to the team's crowdfunding campaign with an engaging twist. In exchange for the certain high-value pledges, Caterham F1 Team has provided a wide range of gifts. A rare chance to acquire race-used items and to have individuals place their names on a Formula 1 car enticed a large crowd. Race car components such as front nose sections along with brake discs were available from the start while driving suits belonging to past Caterham F1 pilots Giedo van der Garde and Charles Pic were added later.

Falling short of their goal of £2,350,000 through the #RefuelCaterhamF1 crowdfunding campaign, the Caterham F1 announced their participation at the 2014 Formula 1 season finale anyways on Friday. Raising more than £1,000,000 by Monday, the Crowdcube campaign slowed during the week. Still, the #RefuelCaterhamF1 effort reached 53-percent of the financial goal by Wednesday. Since confirming they are competing at the Yas Marina Circuit in the United Arab Emirates, Caterham F1 Team extended their Crowdcube campaign to the date of the 2014 Formula 1 season ending race. The opportunity still remains to contribute to the team. As of the morning of November 16th, Caterham F1 has reached 81-percent of their financial goal. Formula 1 fans continue to have the chance to acquire unique memorabilia.

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