New clouds have gathered over the Caterham F1 Team as new owners have threatened to pull the plug on the team, claiming that Tony Fernandes, former owner of the team, is not completing the transaction as deemed necessary.
A press release made by the team states: "Since the date of the sales Agreement on 29 June 2014, the former owner has refused to comply with its legal obligations to transfer their shares to Engavest. The Buyer has been left in the invidious position of funding the team without having legal title to the team it had bought. This is in total contradiction to the Seller’s press release of 3 October 2014 which stated that Mr Fernandes and his Caterham Group had no longer any connection with the Caterham F1 Team."
The statement continues by saying that instating the administrators has had a devastating effect on the F1 team's activities, releasing press statements "which have been severely detrimental to the management of the Caterham F1 team".
The current "owners", or rather the current operators of the team have said they will now explore every possible legal means to make sure they get control of the team, including the possibility of withdrawing its own management team, among whom is Manfredi Ravetto, current team principal. The buyer also explicity states that Tony Fernandes is now back in charge of the team's operations, until the matter can be settled.
It didn't take long though before Tony Fernandes, effectively still the owner of the team, responded, as he posted on twitter "When you buy something, you have to pay for it. Simple". Even though this does not unveil everything, it is obvious that a dispute is present, with both parties claiming current ownership of the team.
It is beyond doubt that Tony Fernandes wanted to get rid of the team, given that he was unable to make it profitable of successful since its entry in Formula One in 2010. Since then however, debts had accumulated, and it looks likely that a dispute around outstanding debt is causing the issue that stands today.
No matter what happens in this case, it becomes increasingly possible that the team will fold, sooner rather than later.