Coronavirus: Renault furloughs 'vast majority' of UK-based staff until end of May

With the Formula One season delayed until June, Renault has cut back operations in England and France.

Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo   -  Getty Images

Renault has taken up the option to furlough the "vast majority" of staff at its Enstone site amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Formula One season is yet to begin after the start date was repeatedly pushed back by the global COVID-19 crisis.

As things stand, the French Grand Prix will get the campaign under way in June, with nine prior events having been postponed. However, motorsports chief Ross Brawn is confident of a 19-race season if F1 gets up and running by July.

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Given the delay, Renault has announced its plans for the coming weeks.

For workers at Enstone, the team has applied to use the United Kingdom government's Job Retention Scheme, which pays 80 per cent of wages for furloughed staff up to £2,500, until May 31.

"This will be reviewed dependent on the development of the situation," a statement read.

"It was also agreed to top-up the amount allocated by the government to guarantee a minimum of 80 per cent of the actual salary for all team members.

"Salaries of active staff, including management, will be reduced in the same proportions."

Renault also operates a French site at Viry-Chatillon, where it will switch to a part-time schedule for a provisional period of 12 weeks.

Managing director Cyril Abiteboul said: "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."

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