Renault has become the latest Formula 1 team to announce widescale cutbacks amid the shutdown period caused by the coronavirus pandemic, with the “vast majority” of its race team staff put into furlough while its engine factory has been moved on to a part-time schedule.

After McLaren, Williams, Racing Point and F1’s management all put staff into furlough through the British government’s Job Retention Scheme, Renault has followed by announcing most of its Enstone staff will be on furlough during its shutdown period covering April and May.

While the situation will be reviewed if changes occur, Renault guarantees a minimum of 80% salary for every staff member by topping up those who are not covered by the scheme. Salaries of staff not put on furlough, including senior management, will also take a pay cut of 20% but it hasn’t been confirmed if this also applies to drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon.

At Renault’s engine factory at Viry-Chatillon, a part-time schedule has been introduced from April 6 for a provisional 12-week period which could be reduced or extended depending on the coronavirus crisis. For activities outside of FIA shutdown measures (i.e. Formula E and Customer Racing) work will resume when possible.

“The very difficult human and sanitary circumstances that we are experiencing and the strict lockdown in France and England, as well as in most of the Grand Prix-organising countries, do not yet allow us to measure the impact on our sport,” Cyril Abiteboul, Renault’s managing director, said.

“We therefore must use all the measures at our disposal to get through this prolonged period of uncertainty and inactivity as best as we can, while protecting the whole team we have built over the past four years.”

F1 organisers are aiming to start the 2020 season in July if the coronavirus situation improves and measures on public gatherings and travel bans are relaxed sufficiently.

 

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