November 22nd, 2002

Milk Carton

Jaguar to axe 60 jobs

The Ford-owned Jaguar Formula One team is to axe 60 jobs in the face of a global economic downturn that has left smaller rivals struggling to raise funds. Team spokesman Nav Sidhu said restructuring was under way after an evaluation of the team's activities. "There will be a reduction in overall headcount within the company," said Sidhu on Friday. "It is not entirely cost driven, there is over-capacity in some areas. "The global economy shows no signs of an immediate recovery and by adopting this course of action we can be fully prepared for the conditions that face us."

F1 is going through difficult financial times, with just 10 teams completing last year and several struggling to raise funding for the 2003 season, which starts in Australia in March.

Jordan, British American Racing and Minardi have all shed staff in the past year while Arrows are fighting to stay alive with a much-depleted workforce. The Prost team went bankrupt at the start of the year.

Jaguar, despite hefty backing from US car giant Ford, have underperformed since their F1 debut in 2000 and finished last season seventh overall. They have announced a new and far cheaper line-up next year with Australian Mark Webber and Brazilian newcomer Antonio Pizzonia replacing Eddie Irvine and Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa.

F1 president Max Mosley warned recently that the 2003 starting grid could be limited to just 20 cars due to the financial problems. "It would be nice to have 22 cars, but I think 20 is more probable," he said. "That's not necessarily because of Arrows but because there is another team or two that are not 100% in good shape."
  • Current Music
    Ryan Siddal (Bar Bar) - Cod liver oil boy