Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris have both taken voluntary pay cuts while a number of McLaren team members have been furloughed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The UK Government has set up a job retention scheme that allows employers to put staff on temporary leave on the lower amount of either 80% of their salary or £2,500 ($3,100). McLaren has become the first team to confirm it has taken such measures.
“The McLaren Group is temporarily furloughing a number of employees as part of wider cost-cutting measures due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its business,” a McLaren spokesperson said. “These measures are focused on protecting jobs in the short-term to ensure our employees return to full-time work as the economy recovers.”
In parallel with those being furloughed, all staff from a senior level – including senior management and CEO Zak Brown – are taking pay cuts. Alongside that, both drivers volunteered to take the same rate of pay cut as the rest of the staff when told of the moves.
“Due to the impact of COVID-19, the McLaren Group has adopted difficult temporary measures regarding its staff to hopefully protect jobs in the long term,” Sainz posted on social media. “I fully understand these tough decisions and I have obviously decided to take a pay cut. We are all in this together.”
With no races taking place, teams are facing greatly reduced income and a temporarily limited need for the majority of staff. The mandatory factory shutdown period has been extended to three weeks and moved forward from August to be taken by the end of April, a spell that is likely to be extended in order to reduce overheads.
Other cost-cutting measures have already been introduced across the sport, including the delay of the 2021 regulations by at least a year and teams being prohibited from doing aerodynamic development for the next generation of car until 2021 at the earliest. The current chassis will also be used next year to save money.