Much as Jenson Button did to help ensure that Brawn GP made the starting grid in Formula 1 in 2009, it has emerged that Renault duo Fernando Alonso and Nelsinho Piquet have both accepted a reduction in salary ahead of the forthcoming campaign.
After the revelation that Button voluntarily sacrificed some £15 million off his retainer over the following three years, it is understood that former double F1 World Champion Alonso has agreed to ditch 30 per cent of his annual salary at Renault – equating to roughly €5 million.
The French manufacturer has received a government bail-out to the tune of some €3 billion – and with persistent doubts over the continued participation of its F1 operation against the backdrop of the current global economic crisis, 50 employees have been made redundant at the team's UK base at Enstone in Oxfordshire.
“Fernando has had a salary cut, like everyone at the factory,” Renault F1 managing director Flavio Briatore told British newspaper the Daily Express
. “It is sad, but we were in a bubble in F1 and now to preserve the business and the majority of the jobs we need to take action.”