Renault has announced it has furloughed the majority of its Formula 1 staff at its Enstone headquarters, with the rest taking a pay cut amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The UK Government’s job retention scheme allows companies to temporarily lay off staff with the government paying the lower amount of either £2500 ($3100) per month or 80% of their salary. Renault has opted to retrospectively take advantage of the scheme, backdating it to April 1 until May 31 when it will review the situation, with the vast majority of employees at Enstone furloughed.
The team says it will top-up the salaries so that everyone still receives 80% of their income, while those that still have to work will take a pay cut so that they also will be earning 80%.
At the Viry-Chatillon factory in France — where other Renault Sport Racing activities are housed alongside some F1 facilities — a part-time schedule will be used from April 6 for 12 weeks. Managing director Cyril Abiteboul says the measures are necessary to protect against the uncertainty of the global situation.
“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-organizing countries, do not yet allow us to measure the impact on our sport,” Abiteboul 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.”
Renault’s announcement comes after confirmation from McLaren, Racing Point and Williams that they have all also furloughed a number of employees, with their drivers taking pay cuts. Formula 1 has similarly furloughed around 50% of its staff.