Formula One team Brawn GP, who secured the top two podium positions at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix yesterday, will make more than a third of their staff redundant.
Chief executive Nick Fry revealed that the staff at the English-based Brackley factory near Silverstone were informed of their redundancy by letter about a week ago.
“It’s about 270 (job losses),” Fry told Reuters after Brawn’s debut victory on Sunday. “We are about 700 people at the moment and we talked to the staff about going down to about 430, something like that, which is where we (predecessors BAR) were in 2004.”
"It's very unfortunate that we've got to do that but it’s the change of technical regulations and obviously we are now a private team."
Brawn replaced Honda in the Formula One championship after a management buyout of the struggling Japanese car manufacturer’s team. Honda announced in December that it was pulling out as both a constructor and engine supplier due to the global financial crisis, leaving the entire workforce facing the loss of their jobs.
Despite announcing Richard Branson's Virgin Group as its first significant sponsor on Saturday, Brawn is operating on a far smaller budget than Honda did last season. Formula One's rules have also changed, with fewer staff needed now that testing is banned from the start of the season to the end of the year.
Brawn drivers Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello finished first and second respectively in Melbourne on Sunday in the most successful debut by a team for 55 years.