Renault furlough ‘vast majority’ of staff amid COVID-19 crisis

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Paris, April 11 (IANS) Renault has become the latest Formula 1 team to apply for the British government’s furlough scheme, as the sport struggles with financial losses brought about by the global coronavirus pandemic.

Renault announced on Friday that it would apply for the Job Retention Scheme for “the vast majority” of its staff at its Enstone base from April 1 to May 31.
“It was agreed to top-up the amount allocated by the British government to guarantee a minimum of 80 per cent of the actual salary for all team members,” the statement from the French manufacturer read.
“Salaries of active staff, including management, will be reduced in the same proportions.”
In addition to this measure for its UK staff, Renault also announced that workers at its engine base at Viry-Chatillon near Paris would be placed on a part-time schedule from April 6 for an initial period of 12 weeks.
“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,” said Renault F1 team principal Cyril Abiteboul.
“We must use all the measures at our disposal to get through this prolonged period of uncertainty and inactivity as best as we can.”
Earlier, Williams, Racing Point and McLaren had also applied for the furlough scheme.
So far, nine races have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak, with the March 15 season-opening Australian Grand Prix cancelled along with May’s showcase Monaco Grand Prix.
Formula One motorsport managing director Ross Brawn has said that in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 season could potentially be held behind closed doors. Although the French GP is currently scheduled for June 28, Brawn believes a July start now looks more likely.