Renault will stay in Formula 1 despite making major job cuts as a wider company, according to the French car manufacturer’s interim CEO Clotilde Delbos.
In response to massively declining new car sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and following the Carlos Ghosn scandal, Renault will cut some 15,000 jobs as it searches to find €2 billion ($2.23b) in savings over the next three years. The announcement of those cutbacks had led to speculation regarding its future in Formula 1, but Delbos says the team remains committed as new regulations make it a more attractive proposition.
“F1 we said publicly, and we confirm that we intend to stay in Formula 1,” Delbos said. “Actually the news about new regulations, new cap, in terms of investment, is very good for us, because we as you know had less investment in this area compared to some of our competitors which were spending a lot of money. So, F1, we are here, and we stay in Formula 1.”
F1 is a global marketing tool that Renault uses, and its annual budget is a small percentage of the amount the company is looking to save each year. In total, 10% of its global workforce is expected to be affected by layoffs.
The news comes after McLaren also announced it would be making around 1200 redundancies — with 70 expected to come from the F1 team — as a result of a lack of supercar sales and the impending F1 cost cap.
McLaren signed Daniel Ricciardo from Renault to race for its F1 team in 2021 and 2022, leaving a vacancy at Renault’s Enstone-based squad next season. Fernando Alonso has been linked with a return to the team he won two drivers’ championships with in 2005 and 2006, while a number of other high-profile names — including Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas — are currently out of contract at the end of the year.