Renault furloughs 'vast majority' of F1 team to end of May

11 April 2020 - 13:38 By Reuters
Esteban Ocon and Daniel Ricciardo launch the livery of their new Renault Sport Formula One Team RS20 during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit on March 11, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia.
Esteban Ocon and Daniel Ricciardo launch the livery of their new Renault Sport Formula One Team RS20 during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit on March 11, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia.
Image: Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images

Renault have furloughed most of their British-based Formula One race team until the end of May due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with management also taking a pay cut, the French car maker announced on Friday.

Renault said the engine factory at Viry-Chatillon in France had moved to a part-time schedule from April 6 for a provisional 12 weeks.

“Renault Sport Racing has decided to retrospectively apply for the Job Retention Scheme set up by the British government,” it said in a statement.

“The vast majority of Enstone staff will effectively have a total shutdown (furlough) until May 31. This will be reviewed dependent on the development of the situation.”

Renault, whose F1 drivers are Australian Daniel Ricciardo and Frenchman Esteban Ocon, said it would top up the amount allocated by the government to guarantee a minimum of 80% of actual salary for all team members.

“Salaries of active staff, including management, will be reduced in the same proportions,” it added.

Three other British-based teams — McLaren, Williams and Racing Point — have already announced they are furloughing staff with drivers also taking pay cuts.

Renault are the first manufacturer-owned team to do so, however.

Team boss Cyril Abiteboul said it was hard to measure the eventual impact of the crisis on the sport, with France and England in lockdown along with most Grand Prix organising countries.

“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,” he said.

The car maker cancelled its dividend on Thursday and said its chairman and interim CEO had agreed to pay cuts, to help finance a solidarity fund for staff affected by the coronavirus crisis.


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