McLaren explains "difficult" decision to furlough F1 team staff

McLaren Formula 1 chief Andreas Seidl has explained the reasons for furloughing a number of the team's staff, calling it "one of the most difficult decisions" of his working life

McLaren explains "difficult" decision to furlough F1 team staff

McLaren announced at the beginning of April it would be furloughing many of its team members as a temporary measure, owing to the financial uncertainty facing F1 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Drivers Carlos Sainz Jr. and Lando Norris also took pay cuts to aid the team, as did a number of its senior management members.

Asked by Autosport to explain the decision amid criticism facing football clubs, Seidl said the team had to safeguard its future amid a lack of certainty on when the 2020 season would begin.

Why F1's furlough debate isn't as clear cut as in football

"It's still not clear yet and it's simply impossible to know what the financial impact will be of this crisis," Seidl said.

"We know that we are not going racing at the moment. We know that we will miss income this year, and this is why we had to put different measures in place in order to make sure we are protecting our people, [and] protecting the team to be in a position that once this crisis is over, to restart again in the best possible shape.

"One of these measures was putting our people on furlough, which was, for myself, one of the most difficult decisions or things I've had to do in my working life, telling our people to be on furlough and taking also pay cuts.

"But again, we were clear together with Zak [Brown, McLaren Racing CEO] that it's a decision we had to make again to make sure we protect the team as good as possible."

F1 teams are braced for a significant loss of income this year due to a revised calendar that is likely to result in a reduction in hosting fees that fund much of their prize money.

The opening nine races of 2020 have already been called off, and there is no certainty on when they will be rescheduled or when the season will be able to start.

As well as furloughing staff and introducing pay cuts, McLaren has also put its major infrastructure projects - including a new wind tunnel and a new simulator - on hold for the time being.

"The entire factory, apart from the ventilator production, is in full shutdown at the moment," Seidl said.

"So this means also the infrastructure projects are on hold.

"We need to see with all our companies and suppliers working together on this project how big the delays will be once we get going again."

shares
comments
Vettel: 10-race season won't devalue 2020 F1 title win
Previous article

Vettel: 10-race season won't devalue 2020 F1 title win

Next article

How Mercedes has bucked the trend and reaped rewards

How Mercedes has bucked the trend and reaped rewards
Load comments
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup Plus

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021 Plus

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as STUART CODLING finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton Plus

The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls a remarkable champion

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022