The Renault Formula One team, based in Oxfordshire, has begun consulting with staff about more than 60 job losses.

The company, which is also losing its main sponsor, employs 350 people at its Entone headquarters.

In a statement Renault said the cuts were due to a change in Formula One regulations, not the economic downturn.

The jobs under threat are in the test team and the aerodynamics department. Renault finished fourth in last year's F1 constructors' championship.

The consultation period about the job losses is due to end at the beginning of March.

Change to regulations

Honda, based in nearby Brackley, has already announced its withdrawal from F1 because of cost cutting.

However, a statement from Renault said financial pressures were not behind its decision.

"Unlike other companies in the area this 'restructuring' of the team is not a direct consequence of the economic downturn but rather due to the change in the F1 Regulations.

"In fact, the jobs potentially made redundant are in the test team and in the aerodynamic departments, which were both affected by the new rules".

The Dutch financial services company ING said it will not be renewing its contract after the end of the 2009 season as a cost-cutting measure.