Renault has announced it has laid off staff at its Formula 1 facility in Enstone until the end of May in an effort to protect the team’s future.
The lay offs come in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which has put the Formula 1 season on hold and brought the mandated summer break forward.
Renault confirmed it has retroactively applied for the UK Government subsidy Job Retention Scheme.
That will see staff paid £2,500 per month, with Renault topping up that figure to ensure at least 80 percent of their salaries are paid.
“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,” said Cyril Abiteboul, Renault Sport Racing Managing Director.
“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.”
In a statement from the French manufacturer, Renault said the measures have been taken to protect the team in the short-term and strengthen the sport in the medium-term.
“Renault Sport Racing has decided to retrospectively apply for the Job Retention Scheme set up by the British government,” the statement read.
“As of April 1st, the vast majority of Enstone staff will effectively have a total shutdown (furlough) until May 31st.
“This will be reviewed dependent on the development of the situation.
“It was also agreed to top-up the amount allocated by the government to guarantee a minimum of 80% of the actual salary for all team members.
“Salaries of active staff, including management, will be reduced in the same proportions.”
Renault has also scaled back its activities at its engine building Viry-Châtillon base, moving to a part-time schedule for an earmarked 12 weeks.
“This period may be reduced or extended dependent on the development of the situation,” the statement read in regards to Viry-Châtillon.
“This decision was taken in consultation with employee representatives and was supported by a solidarity agreement aimed to protect the company and its employees.
“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.”
The Formula 1 season is currently slated to start at Circuit Paul Ricard for the French Grand Prix over June 26-28.