Williams puts employees on temporary leave amid COVID-19 crisis

George Russell (GBR) Williams Racing FW43.
© XPB 

Williams is the second F1 team after McLaren to put part of its staff on temporary leave as the Grove-based outfit deals with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

Williams released a statement on Monday announcing its furlough plan.

"Due to the ongoing situation involving COVID-19, ROKiT Williams Racing is temporarily furloughing a number of employees as part of a wider range of cost-cutting measures," said the team.

"The furlough period will last until the end of May whilst senior management, and our drivers, have taken a pay cut of 20% effective from 1st April.

"These decisions have not been taken lightly, however our aim is to protect the jobs of our staff at Grove and ensuring they can return to full-time work when the situation allows."

The British outfit's measures follow those implemented last week by McLaren.

Williams - the sport's third most successful team behind Ferrari and McLaren - currently employs approximately 255 people and is considered along with Haas as an outfit extremely vulnerable to F1's economic downturn.

Sir Frank Williams' squad endured a succession of very lean years in F1, securing just 8 points in its last two campaigns, a shortfall that has heavily hit the team's bottom line.

On Monday, it was also confirmed that Racing Point had placed some of its staff on temporary furlough, with remaining employees - including Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll - accepting a pay cut.

F1 teams are currently undergoing a mandatory three-week factory shutdown which could eventually be extended amid the various lockdowns that are in force in the UK and in Europe.

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter