According to the story on the BBC website, staff at the team had requested the redundancy move in order to be able to pursue claims for outstanding pay, while a letter from a team member published on Joe Saward’s site suggested that the move was unexpected.
The news has raised questions about how the team will actually compete in Abu Dhabi, as they will not have any technical staff available – although it is thought that some staff will operate the team on a consultancy basis. It is also not clear who will actually drive for the team at the event.
F1 rules limit a team to 4 race drivers during a season. Marcus Ericsson who signed with Dauber for 2015 is unavailable after severing confections with the team, and Kobayashi’s comments about the safety of the car following his stop on track at Sochi seem to rule him out. Andre Lotterer who drove at Spa is thought to have been offered a drive, and there were rumours that Barrichello had signed a 3 race swansong deal with the team – although the main attraction for the veteran was the opportunity to race in front of his home crowd at Interlagos one last time.
Former Marussia driver Max Chilton has been mooted as a possible contender for the seat, and would likely bring some sponsorship, as would Van Der Garde. With just a week to go before the race the team’s administrators need to confirm the lineup to ensure that they have the correctly fitted seats and equipment for their drivers in place.
The fact remains that the team could still sit out the race, although this is likely to be met with a negative reaction from fans who contributed to the crowd funding effort.