Renault F1’s Oxfordshire-based workers are facing job cuts after the team revealed that it is consulting with staff about losing up to 60 test team and aerodynamics jobs.
The cuts would affect around 12 per cent of its 500-strong workforce and are down to cost-cutting measures affecting the sport as a whole, meaning that less testing and wind tunnel work will be undertaken.
Enstone is the team’s base for designing and building chassis while its engines are manufactured at a plant at Viry-ChÃ¢tillon, close to Paris, France.
The team is keen to stress that the measure is not as a result of financial concerns or of the news that its headline sponsor banking group ING is entering its last year in the sport.
A statement from the team reads as follows: “The ING Renault F1 Team, in the process of restructuring, is going through a consultation process which might result in the redundancies of 63 employees,.
“However this is not a direct consequence of the economic downturn, but rather due to the changes made to the Formula 1 regulations.
“From our workforce of 525, the potential redundancies will affect the test team and aerodynamics department which have been most impacted by the new regulations.”
The news comes a day after the team’s title sponsor ING announced it would not be renewing its sponsorship package with the team at the end of the 2009 season.
However, Renault F1 managing director Flavio Briatore has been bullish, saying he is confident that the team has “a solid future” in the light of the sport’s cost-cutting measures.