Caterham faces an uncertain future after the team's buyers threaten to pull out, claiming Tony Fernandes still owns the team having not transferred shares.

The team was bought from Fernandes by a group of Swiss and Middle Eastern investors advised by Colin Kolles at the end of June, and has been undergoing a period of restructuring ever since. With staff laid off and Caterham Sports Limited (CSL) - which builds the cars for the F1 team - having entered administration, the new owners now claim they don't actually own the team.

Saying the plight of CSL "has had devastating effects on the F1 Team's activities", the new buyers are now taking legal action against Fernandes and says it could pull out of the running of the team.

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The full statement from the Caterham F1 Team is as follows:

"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."

Fernandes issued a short response on Twitter:

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Well, what a dog's breakfast.
It was only a week or so ago that Manfredi Ravetto was insisting that they had successfully stabilised Caterham's finances and refuting that they were on the verge of collapse despite the bailiffs crawling all over the operation.
Now this.
I wonder if Tony Fernandes actually ever received payment for the shares?