Formula One: Cash-strapped Caterham hold out begging bowl to fans in $4 million drive to reach Abu Dhabi

Caterham driver Kamui Kobayashi of Japan drives ahead of Toro Rosso driver Jean-Eric Vergne of France (right) during the qualifying session at the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka on Oct 4, 2014. Cash-strapped Caterham are pleading with fans
Caterham driver Kamui Kobayashi of Japan drives ahead of Toro Rosso driver Jean-Eric Vergne of France (right) during the qualifying session at the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka on Oct 4, 2014. Cash-strapped Caterham are pleading with fans to help finance the team's £2 million (S$4.1 million) attempt to race in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. -- PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - Cash-strapped Caterham are pleading with fans to help finance the team's £2 million (S$4.1 million) attempt to race in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The backmarkers are currently in administration and will miss this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix having also sat out last Sunday's race in Texas.

But on Friday, the team launched the #RefuelCaterhamF1 project where they asked fans to pledge any amount from £10 in an effort to reach a target of £2.35 million to get to the grid in the UAE on Nov 23.

"We are working non-stop to get the Caterham F1 Team back racing, initially in Abu Dhabi, but hopefully that will be just a stepping stone to get it back racing on a permanent basis, under new ownership," said Finbarr O'Connell, Caterham Sports administrator and interim Caterham F1 Team Principal.

"In order to achieve that, one of our most useful, innovative and effective options right now is crowdfunding. We want to get as many sponsors and fans as possible involved this week and make our comeback something we can all be part of.

"This team deserves a future and I'm sure that there are plenty of fans and companies out there that agree with us, so I can't think of a better way to get us all together and show our support to the team than this one, the Caterham F1 Team #RefuelCaterhamF1 project."

The team has lined-up with "Crowdcube", a crowdfunding platform, to facilitate the cash push.

Caterham's announcement came just hours after fellow strugglers Marussia ceased trading and made nearly 200 staff redundant.

dj/nr Auto-Prix-UAE-Caterham-businessAFP 071648 GMT NOV 14