Both teams had declined to participate in the United States and Brazilian Grand Prix, due to insufficient funding to bring their cars to the races in the Americas. Things came to a head when three other privateer teams- Lotus, Sauber, and Force India- threatened boycott the race in protest of the sport’s income distribution model. This obviously didn’t happen, but it did raise awareness to the issue at hand. Now, both the Caterham and Marussia teams have entered into administration(British speak for bankruptcy,) and their future remains in serious doubt.
Notwithstanding any present uncertainty, both teams do remain on the roster for the 2015 season, leaving the grid at the present 22 cars. This foretells that both teams paid the 500,000 pound fee to reserve their spot, but nothing else about their future or their ownership is known. Caterham’s budget of sixty million pounds was a pittance compared to heavyweights such as Mercedes, who spent in excess of 200 million pounds, plus millions more on engine development. Maurussia’s budget of seventy million pounds was not much better, but not as many expected that team to fall into financial peril as did the Caterham team. Marussia’s future remains entirely uncertain. All that s known is that the Russian owners are interested in selling the team; the team is registered for next year as Manor F1 and is reportedly being courted by Indian buyers. The Caterham team is registered for next season, but an ownership change seems apparent; this is unconfirmed, however.
With Haas F1’s entry to the sport forestalled to at least 2016 or later, the grid could very well shrink to 18 cars next year, should both of the aforementioned teams fail. This would see the grid at its thinnest in nine years. Pursuant to this, cries for financial reform within the sport have never been louder, with Bernie Ecclestone himself taking the blame and promising changes. One can only hope that reform will come in time to aid several of the beleaguered privateer teams. This would certainly give the sport a bit of much needed rejuvenation.