Coronavirus in F1: Williams & Racing Point drivers take pay cut as staff put on leave

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
racing point
Racing Point are set to be renamed Aston Martin from next year

Racing Point and Williams have put a number of staff on furlough and given their drivers a pay cut as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

Their move follows a similar step by McLaren last week.

Williams said in a statement that "a number of employees" would be put on enforced leave until the end of May "as part of wider cost-cutting measures".

Drivers George Russell and Nicholas Latifi, and senior management, have taken a 20% pay cut from 1 April.

Racing Point said "some staff had been placed on temporary furlough" and that drivers Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll, the son of the team's billionaire owner Lawrence Stroll, would "take a voluntary pay cut". No numbers were made available.

Williams added: "These decisions have not been taken lightly, however our aim is to protect the jobs of our staff at Grove and ensuring they can return to full-time work when the situation allows."

The measures by the two UK-based teams come against the backdrop of a meeting of team bosses and F1 management on Monday aimed at taking further steps to protect the sport as it suffers a loss of income as a result of the absence of races.

Teams are discussing a reduction of the budget cap already due to come in force in 2021 at $175m. But there is disagreement as to whether it should come down to $150m or a lower figure.

That is just one of a series of steps taken to protect the sport.

These include delaying the introduction of new rules by a year until 2022 and forcing teams to use the same cars both this season, once it starts, and in 2021.

The meeting will also discuss a proposal to delay the new rules by a further year, until 2023.

McLaren boss Zak Brown told BBC Sport on Sunday that the future of Formula 1 was at risk unless drastic action was taken.

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