Caterham insist they will race at the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend despite claims from a bailiff company that they have seized goods from their factory.
The struggling team was sold by Tony Fernandes in July, with a Swiss-Middle East consortium taking over – but financial difficulties continue to plague the Leafield-based marque.
The immediate future of the team is now in further doubt following the announcement by enforcement agent The Sheriffs Office that several items have been seized.
But Caterham released a statement denying they were involved and claiming the action by the bailiffs was actually against one of their suppliers – maintaining they intend to participate in full at Suzuka.
“There have been unfounded and unsubstantiated rumours concerning actions against 1MRT, the entrant and owner of CaterhamF1,” the statement read.
“An action was threatened yesterday against a supplier company to 1MRT. 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.”
A list of items has appeared on The Sheriffs Office website, which says they intend to auction off goods – including parts bound for Suzuka – within a couple of weeks.
“By order of The Sheriffs Office, authorised High Court Enforcement Officers, we hereby announce the impending sale of goods seized and removed from a Formula One team,” their own statement declared.
“The goods include but are not limited to: Caterham F1 test car (2013), Caterham F1 car parts (due for Japan 2014), Full size 6 DOF motion platform F1 simulator, F1 steering wheels, F1 wheels with tyres, High quality drilling & machining equipment, Caterham & Lotus F1 memorabilia, Various pit lane equipment including jacks, pumps and starters, TVs, monitors and other goods and equipment.
“We can confirm the goods have been removed from the Leafield enforcement address and are in secure storage. The goods are to be sold by public auction to the highest bidder.
“Sale by private treaty may be permissible with leave of the court. The date and location of the sale are yet to be confirmed but early indications are mid-October at a UK location.”
It is another twist in the continued struggle to keep the team afloat - Caterham remain in dispute with a number of former employees who lost their jobs under cost-cutting measures brought in by the new owners.
Also, former F1 driver Christijan Albers was installed as the chief executive by the consortium but resigned last month due to ’private reasons’.
Caterham announced earlier in the week that Kamui Kobayashi would retain his seat for his home grand prix – but the team, who have never scored a point in F1, will be under the spotlight as questions continue to be asked about this ongoing issue.