Brawn GP to cut 270 staffers, CEO says
MELBOURNE, Australia -- Formula One winner Brawn GP is laying off more than a third of its staff, chief executive Nick Fry told Reuters after a debut victory at the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday.
"Its about 270," he said of the job cuts. "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 after Fry and that team's principal Ross Brawn led a management buyout of the under-performing outfit.
The Japanese manufacturer announced in December that it was pulling out as a constructor and engine supplier because of the global financial crisis, leaving the entire workforce facing the loss of their jobs.
Honda's estimated expense in Formula One last year was at least $300 million and Brawn, which announced Richard Branson's Virgin Group as its first significant sponsor on Saturday, is now operating on a far smaller budget.
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 is also buying its engine from McLaren partner Mercedes.
Fry said the staff at the Brackley factory near Silverstone in England has been informed and layoff letters had gone out about a week ago.
Britain's Jenson Button led Brazilian teammate Rubens Barrichello in a one-two finish in Melbourne on Sunday in the most successful debut by a team in 55 years.
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