M cLaren had shown the way. Williams is now reacting as the second Formula 1 racing team based in England and is causing part of his workforce to take compulsory leave. The racing team based in Grove announced this on Monday, April 6th.
Williams currently employs around 570 people with an estimated annual budget of around 135 million euros. The ongoing Corona crisis is forcing the racing team, which has participated in 744 Grands Prix in its history, to take the cost-saving measure.
No work, therefore compulsory vacation
Racing is not currently closed think. The first eight grands prix of the season were either postponed or canceled. Because of the forced break from racing, Formula 1 preferred its summer vacation from August. At Williams, work in the factory has been on hold since March 25th and at least until April 15th.
But even if Williams can open the gates again at the planned time, there is a lack of work. Vehicle development will then continue to run on a narrow gauge at most. It doesn't make sense to come up with new aero upgrades if the first update hasn't even been tested on the track. Production stops because the spare parts warehouse is already well filled without a race.
Because there is not enough work for all employees, a part is sent on compulsory leave. This saves Williams the salaries of the people concerned. The English state pays full compensation for employees. However, the amount is capped at 80 percent of the salary or a maximum of £ 2,500. That currently corresponds to just under 2,850 euros. The state's wage transfer is limited to three months.
Loss of salaries for drivers
Williams plans to keep its employees on compulsory leave until the end of May. It's part of a bigger savings package. Out of solidarity, top management as well as drivers George Russell and Nicholas Latifi have waived 20 percent of their salaries since April 1st. 'We didn't make the decision easy for ourselves,' said a team statement. 'However, our ultimate goal is to protect the jobs of our employees in Grove to ensure that they can return to their full-time jobs as soon as the situation allows.'
After McLaren and Williams, too Racing Point decided to take this step. The team announced on the evening of April 6th. Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll have also agreed to a salary waiver. Haas is also playing with the idea of converting the Banbury site to compulsory leave. The option also exists for Mercedes, Red Bull and Renault, all of which have factories in England. The three teams have not yet commented on their plans.