Williams Racing have become the second Formula One team to place their staff on furlough leave as teams fight against the financial impact of COVID-19.
This move from Williams follows in the footsteps of McClaren, who did the same thing last week.
McLaren team boss Zak Brown had earlier warned that the COVID-19 pandemic caused delays to the season could have a seriously damaging effect on the sport as a whole.
In addition to a number of Williams staff being placed on furlough leave, drivers George Russell and Nicholas Latifi have taken a 20% pay cut to help save their team some more money in this vital period.
A statement from the team read as follows:
“Due to the ongoing situation involving Covid-19, ROKiT Williams Racing is temporarily furloughing a number of employees as part of a wider range of cost-cutting measures.
“The furlough period will last until the end of May whilst senior management, and our drivers, have taken a pay cut of 20% effective from 1st April.
“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.”
This statement comes in the wake of a meeting taking place today between all the team bosses at Formula One as they look at reducing costs to make things easier on the teams financially.
The teams have already agreed to reduce the 2021 cost cap to $150m but there have been proposals, particularly from McLaren’s Zak Brown, to reduce it even further to $100m.
The reduction in the cost cap is just one of the things the teams will discuss as they look to maintain the longevity of the sport.
They’ll also discuss pushing back the new rules, which were set to come into place next year, to 2022. Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has stated he would like them pushed back even further, to 2023 – so there’s plenty to be discussed.
Whenever any news breaks of agreements between the teams, we’ll keep you up to date right here on The Sports Despatch. For now though, drop us a follow on Facebook and let us know what you think about Zak Brown’s proposals.