The Renault F1 Team has become the latest F1 sqaud to introduce cutbacks in reaction to the financially uncertain times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
After the McLaren, Racing Point, Williams teams and the Formula 1 organizations have already announced financial restrictions to protect their business in a time that is characterized by extreme financial troubles, Renault has become the fourth F1 outfit to confirm significant tweaks to its operations.
Renault has placed the vast majority of its race staff into furlough while its engine factory has been moved on to a part-time schedule. The French manufacturer’s works F1 team has a facility at Enstone, UK where it operates its chassis development while its engine department is placed at Viry, France.
The Enstone staff has been put on leave since the 1st of April which is expected to end on May 31. However, that date can change as Renault will review its measures dependent on the development of the situation. The company guarantees a minimum of 80% salary for every staff member while salaries of active staff, including management, will be reduced in the same proportions.
For the Viry-Chatillon engine department, the company has decided to implement a part-time schedule from April 6th with for a period of 12 weeks that will be reviewed later on. “For activities not covered by the FIA shutdown – Formula E and Customer Racing – work will resume depending on health conditions and the needs of the company,” read the Renault statement.
Renault’s managing director Cyril Abiteboul explained that the company’s decision was triggered by the lockdowns introduced in France and England.
“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. 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," said the Frenchman.