Rumours linking multi-faceted Caterham to a possible bid for the remain of Lola have been denied by the F1 entrant, despite the latter having only been placed in administration within the past 24 hours.
That shock announcement was blamed on a combination of the ongoing economic situation and the decision by HM Revenue & Customs not to pay ongoing R&D tax credits, which caused a 'serious cashflow' problem for the historic Huntingdon concern, which had itself been touted as a potential F1 entrant in recent years and which, as recently as the start of the year, claimed to have an F1 design ready to go should the budget have been available.
Instead, an official statement issued on Wednesday revealed that the company's board was continuing discussions with 'possible investors and prospective purchasers' in an effort to save the company. Although no further comment would be forthcoming from Huntingdon before Monday 21 June, the rumour mill had already ground into life, with Caterham named as a possible white knight.
The British sportscar concern was snapped up by Tony Fernandes as he sought an alternative to the Lotus name under which he operated his F1 concern for two years, and has expanded to broaden its business horizons. However, speculation that it may be interested in Lola, whose base is roughly midway between Caterham F1's current Hingham base in Norfolk and its proposed new home at Leafield in Oxfordshire, was quickly quashed.
“Our proposed move to Leafield is proceeding as planned and as previously announced," a team spokesman told SPEED.com
, "We wouldn't comment on any discussions with Lola or any other commercial organisation.”
The rumours have some logic behind them as a move to Huntingdon would allow Caterham to bring its F1 and composites arms together in one place, rather than split them between Leafield and Hingham, as is currently proposed, while still giving the team access to the pool of motorsport talent currently living around the 'Motorsport Valley' area that encompasses the regions surrounding Silverstone.