Grove, Thursday: Long-time Formula One participants Williams are to outsource much of their workforce in order to get the most out of F1’s new budget cap, reports today suggest.
The team, which has been operating from its Oxfordshire base for some years now, has been evaluating the possibility of using cheaper labour overseas to produce its Formula One cars. The aim is to use the money saved in employing workers elsewhere in the world for more research and development, hopefully giving Williams an advantage over other teams trying to extract the most from the £40 million cost cap, which will be imposed from next season.
“Obviously all the important design work will still be done by our team of experts here in Grove,” Williams engineering director Patrick Head told reporters. “But the manufacturing, assembly, evaluation of parts and so on, it’s an expensive business which can be done much cheaper outside the UK. So the natural thing to do is to see where we can get cheaper labour and save on costs.”
The outsourcing of major parts of Williams’ operation is expected to cost hundreds of British jobs, though Head is confident that it will provide work for many more people in countries such as Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia. “Unemployment in these countries is so high, we’re just doing what we can to help out,” Head suggested, ignoring completely the rising unemployment in Britain.
FIA President Max Mosley has reportedly already thrown his support behind the plan, claiming that the global expansion of Formula One can only be a good thing, and congratulating Williams for their ingenuity in their solution to the problems posed by such a tight budget cap.
It is being rumoured that Williams have also threatened to “re-assign” Nico Rosberg to a position in one of the team’s new factories if his performances do not quickly improve, though these reports have yet to be confirmed.