Finbarr O'Connell (born c. 1959–60) is a British accountant and insolvency practitioner who currently serves as a joint administrator (with Henry Shinners and Anthony Spicer) for the Caterham F1 Team during its administration. O'Connell took over the role of Team Principal while he was in charge, leading the team at the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
O'Connell joined Smith & Williamson in his twenties, and having spent his career dealing with restructuring and insolvency, was appointed joint-administrator alongside, Henry Shillers and Anthony Spicer, of Caterham following their administration caused by the dispute between former owner Tony Fernandes and current owners Engavest. As a result, O'Connell became the de facto Team Principal, replacing Manfredi Ravetto.
Having been granted permission to miss both the United States and Brazilian Grands Prix, O'Connell set out to simultaneously raise funds, negotiate a deal between Fernandes and Engavest and to find a new buyer. The funding was required if the team was to compete at the final race of the season, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, a move O'Connell wished to make to show that Caterham have viability to potential investors.To raise the necessary funding, Caterham launched a crowdfunding effort on the CrowdCube website, aiming to raise £2.35m (US$3.72m, €3m, AU$4.35m, CA$4.25m) within a week. Despite not reaching the target, Caterham stated that they attending the race, extending the time period of the crowdfunding effort to reach the target, which they eventually managed.
O'Connell managed to retain Kamui Kobayashi for the race, but with Marcus Ericsson having left the team with immediate effect to join Sauber, a new driver was required. André Lotterer was offered a seat, but refused, and O'Connell reached out to British former Caterham test driver Will Stevens, who was confirmed after receiving his Super Licence.
At the race, O'Connell saw Kobayashi retire while Stevens finished last. The team then proceeded to attend both days of the Abu Dhabi Test that followed.
In February 2015, Smith and Williamson released a statement in which it was announced that an auction of the assets of the F1 team was to be held, as a buyer has not been found, effectively ending Caterham unless a buyer is found before the auction.
Formula One CareerEdit
|2014–2015||Caterham||Administrator, Team Principal|
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