Caterham have moved to rubbish rumours that their Leafield factory has been seized by bailiffs.
Reports of the seizure broke on Twitter just before 4pm British time, with some accounts claiming that staff were being ordered to disconnect servers and leave the premises, while equipment was being seized by bailiffs.
There was no official word for five hours before Caterham released a statement rubbishing the “unfounded and unsubstantiated rumours” about action against them or 1MRT, Caterham’s owner.
“An action was threatened yesterday against a supplier company to 1MRT,” the statement explained. “This company is not owned by 1MRT and it has no influence over the entry of CaterhamF1 or the entrant.”
“Also contrary to uncontrolled rumours, all operations are currently in place at Leafield and the race team is doing its preparation in Japan.” the statement concluded.
However, contrary to the team statement, TheSheriffsOffice.com, a bailiff, has listed Formula One items seized from Caterham to be auctioned away, including:
- A 2013 test car
- Car parts due for the upcoming race
- A full size 6 DOF motion platform F1 simulator
- Pit lane equipment
- TVs, monitors and other goods and equipment
Although a genuine company, the verity of the auction is yet to be confirmed.
Caterham was abandoned by founder Tony Fernandes in July, who cut his losses after four years of uncompetitive performances, selling the outfit to a mixture of European and Middle-Eastern investors.
Financial trouble was reported at the team almost immediately and new Team Principal, Christijan Albers, left the team shortly after taking the position. Further trouble was signalled when rumours came to the surface that Pirelli were threatening not to supply the team with tyres for this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix unless they received a quick payment from the cash-strapped team.
For now, the team say they will race this weekend, where driver Kamui Kobayashi is to drive in front of his home crowd. While they may drive in this weekend’s race, Caterham’s position in Formula One next season is looking ever less stable.
Image courtesy of Caterham F1 Team.