The administrator at Caterham says it is "90%" confident that the team will race in Abu Dhabi as it attempts to finalise driver and sponsor contracts.

Caterham has been looking to raise ?2.35m through a crowdfunding project in order to be able to take part in the final race of the season having missed Austin and Brazil. While the total was still ?1m short on Friday morning - the last day of the initiative - Finbarr O'Connell, joint administrator at Smith & Williamson, told that deals are set to be finalised over the day which would see the team head to Abu Dhabi.

"What we will have and what we are negotiating - and why these things always go to the end - is that we are negotiating drivers' contracts at the moment and also sponsorship contracts," O'Connell said. "It's been agreed that those funds will go in to the crowdfunding initiative. We're very hopeful that those will complete today and they will increase the figure substantially, and so substantially that even though we'll still be a bit short that (joint administrator) Henry Shinners and I will - if that happens - make a decision to go and try to raise the last bit of money to cover all the costs over the run-up over the next week.

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"That's our plan. So the travel containers are all being filled at Leafield now by the race team. Trucks are in place to bring them to the airport, so that's how confident we are that we are going to go."

O'Connell explained that the deals had been facilitated by the interest surrounding the crowdfunding project, and as a result will be added to the total.

"These are just for one race. This is normal commercial funding but because this sponsorship wouldn't exist other than for the original crowdfunding initiative, it's been agreed that the benefit of it will go in to the crowdfunding pot."

While the current focus is just on making the grid next weekend, O'Connell said there is fresh interest from potential buyers of the team which he would ideally like to see completed before the final race.

"The one thing this has done is it has brought two or three really interested parties to the table to talk about buying it. These are parties who are not multi-millionaires thinking 'wouldn't it be nice', these are people who have got huge associations with the industry and with Formula One. So the whole crowdfunding thing has proved itself by effectively showcasing the team and showcasing to people what will be there if they buy it."

And O'Connell said there are four drivers being spoken to with regards to driving in Abu Dhabi, with the potential to raise more funds by running as many as possible.

"Because we're officers of the court we have to take a pretty hardnosed, blunt financial position rather than any type of longer-term, strategic position. So this one will be all around the funding."


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benignlyindifferent: Dont laugh when you read this, but the Caterham is not a bad car. Think of it. After an entire season of being completely underfunded and being driven by largely pay drivers it is still at times within 4 seconds of the Mercedes. Or three seconds for everyone else. Now, it the Ferrari pell had had that chassis for the entire year, developed it, and plugged their drivers in it I suspect it would be competing with the other mid-field teams by now. So, the team is an attractive possibility for investors wanting to get into F1 immediately. If someone invests the correct money Caterham could be respectable quite quickly. Don't forget the origins of Red Bull and Torro Rosso.[\blockquote]
Trouble is they have been like this from year one, just not got up into the midfield, would be nice to have a good driver just to see how the car performance is, Barrichello ? But to come in just for one race is to much.