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Ex-Caterham Formula 1 team staff refuse to back down in legal row

Kamui Kobayashi, Caterham, Hungarian GP 2014

The sacked Caterham Formula 1 staff taking legal action against their former employer have refused to back down over their claims they were unfairly dismissed.

Around 40 ex-Caterham staff are pursuing a claim against the F1 team, after they lost their jobs following the recent takeover of the Leafield squad by a group of Middle Eastern and Swiss investors.

The team hit back with a counter-suit on Tuesday, claiming the group of ex-staff is misrepresenting the facts.

Caterham argues the ex-staff were actually employed by a supplier, rather than the F1 team itself.

The team also requested the group retract its previous press statements, but the ex-staff have decided to stand by their original claims.

In a statement released to the press on Wednesday the group said: "As confirmed in the contracts of employment for those working in the Caterham F1 Team, Caterham F1 is 'the trading name of the employer and the name of its motor racing team entered into the F1 world championship'.

"All those dismissed were employed in the Caterham F1 Team by their operational company Caterham Sports Limited (company number 07042086, previously 1Malaysia Racing Team (UK) Limited).

"The dismissal letters were on Caterham F1 Team headed notepaper and the reason for dismissal was given as: 'following the change in ownership and, as a result of the current financial position that the new owners have inherited, your position at Caterham Sports Ltd will terminate with immediate effect... You are being dismissed in law for Some Other Substantial Reason.'

"The summary dismissal of employees from Caterham was done without warning or consultation, which is a breach of employment laws and will result in significant compensation claims.

"Lawyers [acting] for those who have been dismissed wrote to Caterham on 25 July 2014 urging a response to the above matters and inviting settlement.

"A response from Caterham to this letter is awaited."

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Caterham takes action against ex-staff