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

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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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