Will Super Aguri team fold?
(GMM) Up to 30 staff of the struggling Super Aguri team face losing their job, according to reports.
The Oxford Mail, a local newspaper serving the area around the Japanese team's Leafield (UK) base, claims that a round of restructuring is aimed at downsizing Super Aguri in preparation for the 2008 season.
The small team, led by former grand prix driver Aguri Suzuki, was late this season urgently on the market for an investor after major backer SS United defaulted on payments.
The newspaper said up to 30 existing staff could be affected, but team spokeswoman Emma Bearpark explained that some could be found alternate posts at engine supplier Honda.
Between 100-120 people currently work for Super Aguri.
One unnamed worker who has lost his job said: "A lot of people are very upset they have done this just weeks before Christmas."
Bearpark added: "We have said all year we are a small team. We are beginning our third year now and all year we have said we required extra funding.
"What we are doing now is unfortunate. We hope that the people identified are able to get jobs in other parts of the company or the formula one industry," she said.
The news might also partly explain the sight of young works Honda hopefuls Andreas Zuber, Luca Filippi and Mike Conway's names on Super Aguri pit-boards at the recent Barcelona test.
While the works team was criticized for seemingly trying to dodge its looming 30,000 kilometer test limit, it is believed that Super Aguri was paid by Honda for running the trio in a RA107.