Desperate times call for equally desperate measures, and for the Caterham F1 team that means crowdfunding the money required to attend the final race of the 2014 Formula One season.
Tony Fernandes’ Caterham Group sold its eponymous Formula One team in July of this year to a group of investors from the Middle East and Switzerland.
At that moment in time, the team had yet to pick up a point this season, let alone pick up a win or a podium finish. Things have since taken a turn for the worse.
A dispute between the new and old owners led to the team being locked out of its facilities and missing the plane to last weekend’s US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. The team will also sit out this weekend’s race in Brazil.
In order to get to the final round of this year’s Formula One season, which will be held in Abu Dhabi from November 21, Caterham F1 has turned to crowdfunding site Crowdcube. Running under the title #RefuelCaterhamF1, the team is hoping to raise 2.35 million pounds ($4.3 million) by the end of next week.
As an incentive for fans to donate larger amounts of cash, the team is offering merchandise, sponsorship deals, corporate hospitality, and even parts from its 2012 and 2013 race cars.
Donations 500 pounds ($918) or less will net fans anything from specially minted caps and shirts to gloves, boots and helmets. Want your name printed on a car? That’ll be 1000 pounds ($1836), although corporate logos start from double that amount.
Car parts, including bargeboards, turning vanes, front and rear wings, and nose cones, start from as little as 400 pounds ($734) and go all the way up to 5500 pounds ($10,100). The most expensive item available is a full corporate hospitality package, which will set any willing donors back 45,000 pounds ($82,600).
At the time of writing, the team is a long way from their goal with just shy of 300,000 pounds ($550,000) raised.