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McLaren’s Zak Brown warns of F1’s “fragile state” as McLaren and Williams Racing F1 furlough employees

6 April 2020

ROKiT Williams Racing has joined McLaren in 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 while senior management and drivers have taken a pay cut of 20% effective from 1st April.

In unprecedented measures announced last month, the British government said it would pay 80% of salaries for staff who are kept on by their employer, covering wages up to £2,500 per month.

McLaren CEO Zak Brown has also said that Formula 1 is “in a very fragile state” as a result of the coronavirus crisis and needs big changes to survive, according to an exclusive interview with BBC Sport.

“This is potentially devastating to teams, and if [it is devastating] to enough teams – which doesn’t have to mean more than two – then very threatening to F1 as a whole,” he said. “In fact, I could see four teams disappearing if this isn’t handled the right way.”

He said all teams have now agreed to lower the budget cap to $150m (£122m) in 2021 but he believes it has to come down further and has proposed a limit of $100m (£81.5m). However, he would be prepared to compromise on $125m (£102m).

Cost-saving plans are currently being discussed at a meeting of F1 team principals.

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