Caterham F1 team fighting more legal battles

 The struggling Caterham Formula One team are facing more trouble off the track after the indebted company that manufactured their cars was placed into administration.

Reuters| Last Updated: Oct 21, 2014, 22:48 PM IST
Caterham F1 team fighting more legal battles

London: The struggling Caterham Formula One team are facing more trouble off the track after the indebted company that manufactured their cars was placed into administration.

Sources close to the British-based team, last in the championship and yet to score a point since they entered in 2010, told Reuters on Tuesday that the legal action should not impact on their racing activities.

However, they recognised that the situation was fluid and complications could not be ruled out.

"There should not be a threat," said one senior source who did not want to be identified. "This should not affect the F1 operation because it is a completely separate company."

There are three races remaining this season, with the 17th round being the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, next week before Brazil and Abu Dhabi. 

Bailiffs seized items from the Leafield factory earlier this month in an action against Caterham Sports Limited (CSL), the company which has now gone into administration and which the team`s new owners say does not belong to them.

The Caterham Formula One team was sold by Malaysian aviation entrepreneur Tony Fernandes, who is also chairman of Premier League soccer club Queens Park Rangers, to a mystery consortium in July.

The group, advised by former F1 team boss Colin Kolles, have been fighting since then to put Caterham on a stable footing and secure the team`s survival. 

The rights to enter the Formula One championship are held by Malaysian-registered 1Malaysia racing Team (1MRT) rather than CSL, who previously provided services and were based at the same Leafield factory.

CSL, who also employed the F1 team staff before the takeover, were placed into administration last Friday.

London-based administrators Smith & Williamson LLP said in a statement that discussions had been held with the Formula One team`s principal Manfredi Ravetto and financial backers.

"It is hoped that these will lead to a financially acceptable arrangement for the continuation of the relationship between the Company and the F1 Team," it said.

"The administrators’ immediate plan is to continue their efforts to maximise the value of the business and assets of the Company for its creditors." 

The statement added that 1MRT was now dealing directly with its own suppliers.