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Careful with that axe Eugene! Apparently the Caterham Formula 1 team’s new owners are facing legal action from 40 former employees after the team fired them after taking over ownership from tony Fernandes.

According to reports, the new owners had a staff reduction inn order to try and get the team viable through cost reduction. Key figures such as Graham Watson, team manager, and head of track operations, Gerry Hughes, and technical director Jody Egginton were all part of the collateral damage.

The former staff feel the way in which they were fired is against UK employment law and are taking legal action including asking the FIA to review the situation.

On one hand you could argue that if you don’t have the cash to play in F1, then go home. On the other hand you could lay the blame at the runaway costs of F1 with the new power unit regulations and increased technology costs involved when it was promised that the costs would be reduced prompting the team to enter F1 in the first place.

You could argue several other scenarios as well but either way, the cost in human valuation is very real as these people have families that rely on the F1 world in which to make a living. The group of former employees released a statement:

“The summary dismissal of employees from Caterham was done without warning or consultation and will result in significant compensation claims against the team.

“Caterham has also reneged on promises that the employees would at least be paid in July. Lawyers for the group will take immediate action.

“It is understood that the employees, many of whom have supported the F1 team during its four years in the championship, will be requesting the FIA – as a responsible regulator – to fully investigate the F1 team’s conduct and the circumstances in relation to its recent change of ownership.”

Caterham have declined to make any statement to the press according to AUTOSPORT.

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An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry and as a CTO, he focuses on technology integration in commercial workspace design, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • jeff z

    Viable….. it’s been down hill after the sale. What little they had going for the team is all gone might as well part it out into bits and just sell the rest of it off.

  • Were the former employees fired or RIF’d, and are UK employment regs regarding notice of the latter similar? I’d assumed the latter, and that the employees suing due to the lack of notice and compensatory package, but It’d be helpful is someone familiar would clarify.

    As to gainful employment, sorry, but I don’t care about the “they have families” argument. Everyone has concerns, and Socialism is a neat idea that’s never worked. I’m of the opinion that those talented and driven “mostly” seek out and find employment/advancement, caveat being some luck indeed is involved. One earns the signed contract.

    “you could lay the blame at the runaway costs…with the new power unit regulations and increased technology costs involved when it was promised that the costs would be reduced prompting the team to enter F1 in the first place.”

    As previously-referenced, Pat Fry, Andy Cowell, Mark Hughes, and Cosworth’s Kirsty Andrews have stated 2014 PU packages are costing the teams less than the 2006 engine change, in real dollars; the per-unit expense is higher which is what the media latched upon, but the allocation cap compensates.

    I agree the budget FIA proposed to the 2010 entrants was ludicrous, but remember media at the time pooh-poohing it as unrealistic; we the general population opined the same. FIA and the new teams IMO were equally at fault for misleading and delusion.

  • *Similar* meaning US and UK employment regs. So sorry for incessant posting edits. Fire me for sh*tty clarity.

    • LOL…you’ve been made redundant. ;) Or is that “sacked”?

      • Both! Seriously suck, not taking the time to edit.

        Jokes aside, therein lies the differences, here in US at least. Were the employees “let go” or “sacked,” and does it make a difference in the UK?

  • Natthulal

    Is the Magic 8 Ball expert Nick Fry their legal counsel? If not they should hire him, after all he has a lot of experience from his days when he used UK labor laws, to get monies from Honda, and still fire the staff at Brackley, and winning title in the name of Brawn, all expenses paid by Honda.