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Brawn GP to cut 270 staffers, CEO says

3/29/2009 - Formula 1

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.