F1 Reduces Payroll with Furloughs, Executive Salary Reductions

Formula 1 will furlough half of its staff through the end of May, with senior executives taking pay cuts due to the ongoing coronavirus shutdown.

The promotional group has postponed seven races this season, with the season opener in Australia and the marquee event on the Streets of Monaco outright canceled. The Canadian Grand Prix was postponed on Tuesday—setting the stage for a provisional start on June 28 in France.

According to the Associated Press, senior executives will accept “voluntary pay cuts while still continuing to work and not in furlough.” Formula 1 Group CEO Chase Carey will take a “much deeper” pay cut.

This follows the agreed-upon extension of the shop and parts supplier shutdown from 21 to 35 days. Formula 1 essentially moved its summer shutdown from August to this spring in hopes of limiting the financial damage of the coronavirus outbreak.

This also allows Formula 1 flexibility to reschedule races during the summer months in the case that the world recovers from the pandemic. F1 hopes to contest 15 to 18 races, down from the scheduled 22, even if that means racing into December and January.

During this shutdown, employees are not allowed to work or operate equipment. Engine manufacturers have also been shut down this spring.

However, the McLaren and Williams teams already had placed some staff on furlough. McLaren drivers Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz also have taken pay cuts.

NASCAR and IndyCar have taken similar approaches to the coronavirus shutdown. Penske Corp., the operator of the IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, has enacted layoffs and pay cuts for top executives. NASCAR has reduced salaries by 20% for all employees and 25% for top executives with layoffs across its various holdings.

The NBA has similarly reduced payroll with a 20% executive salary cut.

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