Renault staff to work from home as shutdown looms

Jamie Woodhouse
Renault F1 PA

Renault F1 PA

Renault’s staff will work from home if possible as they prepare to officially shut down operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

All Formula 1 teams agreed already to send staff who had been in Australia for the season-opening race home for 14 days.

However, Renault have their chassis development operations in the UK, while their engine work takes place in France, meaning they have the orders of both nations to follow.

They must also comply with any restrictions put in place by their parent company Groupe Renault.

The Australian Grand Prix was cancelled after a series of meetings, triggered by a McLaren staff member testing positive for COVID-19 in Melbourne.

McLaren would shortly after withdraw from the event, while Renault joined Ferrari and Alfa Romeo in calling for the race weekend to be cancelled.

Renault’s statement read: “Our decisions must also be consistent with French and English government advice, the policy of Groupe Renault, but also that of Formula 1 authorities.

“The first of these decisions was to support McLaren’s decision not to participate in the Australian Grand Prix following a positive test in the paddock, then to quickly repatriate our track teams present in Melbourne.

“We subsequently asked them not to not return to Enstone or Viry-Chatillon for a minimum period of 14 days.

“Working from home has been widespread for all employees able to do so at Viry-Chatillon.

“Following measures taken by the French government and implemented from Monday evening in France, Renault Sport Racing’s management has also decided to close Viry-Chatillon from the evening of Friday 20 March until Sunday 5 April inclusive.

“Working at home has been progressively implemented at Enstone and will be mandatory for all employees able to do so from Monday 23 March.”

Renault has confirmed that its Enstone site will close from Monday March 30 until Sunday April 19 inclusive.

“These initial measures taken at Enstone and Viry-Chatillon will be reviewed and adapted in view of the situation’s evolution,” the statement continued.

“We will now enter into a phase of in-depth discussions with F1, the FIA and the other teams to define and put in place measures that our sport will have to take in these exceptional circumstances.

“In the face of the coming challenges, responsibility and solidarity must prevail to reduce the impact of this health crisis.”

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