Now things have have reached “ludicrous speed” in the Caterham story which, at this point, can we not follow traditional Formula 1 morays and call this Caterhamgate? Teamgate? Tonygate? Backmarkergate?
The team have now released a strong statement and suggested that the team management may not show up at the USGP in Austin because of the issues the team is facing.
It seems our lovable former F1 boss, Tony Fernandes, may be at the heart of the frustration of the current management of the racing team. If all of this is true, it doesn’t paint a very good picture of the affable Mr. Fernandes. If true, I would be concerned to be a QPR player or employee seeing how these deals go down but that’s just me and these are accusations only.
Here is the full statement:
“On 29 June 2014, Caterham Enterprises Ltd, Caterham (UK) Ltd and Sheikh Mohamed Nasarudin (Seller) and their shareholders Tony Fernandes and Datuk Kamarudin Bin Meranun entered into a Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) with Engavest SA (Buyer) with regards to 1Malaysia Racing Team Sdn Bhd/Caterham F1 Team.
Since the date of the Agreement, the Seller has refused to comply with its legal obligations to transfer their shares to the Buyer. 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 administrators of Caterham Sports Limited have been appointed on behalf of Export-Import Bank of Malaysia Berhad (Exim), a creditor of Mr Fernandes and the Caterham Group. The Buyer has no connection with Exim. Caterham Sports Ltd was a supplier company to the Caterham F1 Team. Very regrettably, the administrators’ appointment has had devastating effects on the F1 Team’s activities. Since their appointment, the administrators have released various press statements which have been severely detrimental to the management of the Caterham F1 team.
After three months of operating the Caterham F1 Team in good faith, the Buyer is now forced to explore all its options including the withdrawal of its management team. Lawyers have been instructed by the Buyer to bring all necessary claims against all parties, including Mr Fernandes who, as an owner, will run the F1 operation.”
Here is what Tony Fernandes had to say via a Tweet:
If you buy something you should pay for it. Quite simple
— Tony Fernandes (@tonyfernandes) October 22, 2014