F1: Caterham face legal action from more than 40 former staff

Caterham
The Caterham F1 team was sold by owner Tony Fernandes to a Swiss and Middle Eastern consortium

More than 40 former Caterham employees laid off earlier this month are to take legal action against the Formula 1 team, according to a solicitor who says he is representing the workers.

The former staff say they were sacked without consultation in breach of employment law and are claiming breach of contract and unfair dismissal.

The employees were removed as part of cost cuts by new owners.

Caterham refused to comment on the development.

Former owner Tony Fernandes sold the team to a Swiss-Middle Eastern consortium earlier this month.

Christopher Felton, the lawyer representing the former employees, said he believed up to 50 people were affected.

"The summary dismissal of employees from Caterham was done without warning or consultation and will result in significant compensation claims against the team," he said.

Caterham in Formula 1
Debut: 2010 (as Team Lotus)
Points: 0
Best race finish: 11th - Vitaly Petrov at the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix
Best team finish: 10th (2010, 2011, 2012)

Felton added that he was writing to F1's governing body, the FIA, urging it to investigate the team's conduct and circumstances in relation to its change of ownership.

Caterham F1 is based in Leafield, Oxfordshire.

The grand prix team is now a separate entity from Caterham Cars, which produces lightweight sportscars, and two technology companies, Caterham Technologies and Caterham Composites.

Those three companies are still owned by Fernandes, who also owns Air Asia, the Tune Hotel group and London's Queens Park Rangers Football Club.