F1 furloughs staff, bosses take pay cuts

F1 CEO Chase Carey, pictured at the Australian GP, is to take a pay cut
F1 CEO Chase Carey, pictured at the Australian GP, is to take a pay cut

Formula One has put almost half its staff on furlough until the end of May due to the coronavirus with chairman Chase Carey and senior management also taking a pay cut, it was announced on Tuesday.

Sources said those on furlough were mainly employees whose work was race weekend focused and who could not carry it out remotely. The company employs in excess of 500 people.

The spokesman said the senior leadership team had voluntarily taken a 20 per cent pay cut but would remain at work while Carey, an American, had taken a bigger reduction.

F1 gains most of its revenue from race promotion fees, broadcast deals and advertising and sponsorship which have all been stalled by the virus with most sport at a standstill globally.

Three of the seven British-based teams -- McLaren, Williams and Racing Point - have also furloughed staff in the past week to cut costs.

The F1 season has yet to start, with the March 15 season-opener in Australia cancelled along with the Monaco showcase in May.

And later on Tuesday, the Canadian Grand Prix, due to be held on June 14 in Montreal, become the ninth F1 race to be postponed because of the ongoing pandemic crisis.

Six other races have been called off and Liberty Media-owned Formula One hopes to start up some time in the European summer, conditions permitting, with a reduced schedule of 15-18 races.

F1 say it will now extend its shutdown period by a further two weeks from 21 to 35 days as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The shutdown is normally in the summer when teams are not allowed to carry out development work on their cars.

Last month, governing body FIA brought the summer shutdown period forward to the spring and extended it by seven days to three weeks.

Australian Associated Press