NOVEMBER 23, 2007

Super Aguri restructuring

Super Aguri F1 is on the verge of announcing job cuts at Leafield because the team cannot afford to keep at its current strength and needs to pull back to make sure that the team has the money to go racing in 2008. Team members have been warned that there are to be redundancies and the team is admitting that this could be as many as 30 people. The team has fluctuated in size this year, getting up to 150 at one point allowing for those who were working on short-term deals but the real figure is between 100 and 120. The lack of funding has meant that the team has not been able to develop the cars as much as had been hoped and this has meant that some departments were not being used to the maximum. These are mainly in the manufacturing area. The team is trying hard to find alternative employment for staff with Honda Racing F1 and other teams.

Much of the team's manufacturing was being sub-contracted (with Honda Racing F1 building the chassis) and the team was always aimed as being in an F1 in which customer cars would be allowed. It seems that this will still happen but only until the end of 2009 when all the teams will have to become constructors in their own right. That, however, is yet to be confirmed and so potential investors/buyers of Super Aguri F1 have been hanging back, waiting to see what happens. This has not helped the team, which is also involved in hefty legal actions with test driver Giedo Van der Garde and with a sponsor called SS United. The outcome of these cases involves many millions of dollars.