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F1: Caterham axes ''at least 50'' F1 staff

From GMM(story updated below)

"At least 50" Caterham staff have left the Leafield based team, according to Speed Week.

Ahead of the British grand prix, the Tony Fernandes-founded team's new advisor Colin Kolles admitted that up to a hundred of the 300-strong workforce might have to go as he makes Caterham more "efficient" for the future.

The BBC, Reuters and the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf on Wednesday said "more than 40" employees were let go in the days between Silverstone and this weekend's German grand prix.

Reportedly among the departures were technical boss Jody Eggington and track operations chief Gerry Hughes.

Test driver Alexander Rossi also exits with immediate effect, although - for now at least - fellow tester Robin Frijns is safe, as are racers Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson.

Speed Week, however, reports that "at least 50" Caterham staff are in fact leaving, including designer Lewis Butler and head of research and development Elliot Dason-Barber.

Caterham, now owned by mysterious Middle Eastern investors operating out of Switzerland, would not comment.

UPDATE
Caterham has confirmed reports "a number of employees" have left the team.

In a press release, Caterham announced on Thursday morning a number of appointments, whilst also admitting it has "parted company with a number of employees".

"Christijan Albers is now Team Principal, supported by Manfredi Ravetto, General Manager and Deputy Team Principal. Simon Shinkins has also joined the team as COO, as well as Miodrag Kotur who is now Team Manager. Michael Willmer is the team’s new Director of Legal Affairs and Gianluca Pisanello is promoted to Head of Trackside Engineering. Finally, John Iley is now the team’s Technical Director, leading the work being done to improve the 2014 car and the 2015 new car project."

"This is a necessary step taken by the new owners of Caterham F1 Team whose priority is the future of the team," the media statement read.

"No further comment will be made at this time."

F1 Caterham factory Leafield UK
Caterham's factory in Leafield, UK. (Photo: Caterham F1 Team)