Renault F1 staff told to work from home ahead of shutdown

Adam Cooper

While all teams agreed to keep race team staff who had travelled back from Australia at home for 14 days, Renault's policy is more wide ranging.

The company is in the unusual position of having its F1 chassis and engine bases subject to UK and French government advice respectively, while also having to comply with any restrictions imposed on all facilities and employees by parent company Groupe Renault.

Along with Ferrari and Alfa Romeo, Renault was one of the first teams to push for the cancellation of the Australian GP once a McLaren team member had been tested positive for COVID-19.

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A statement from the team said: "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."

The period of working from home is independent of the official shutdown, when servers are switched off and there is supposed to be no email contact between team members. Renault has opted to close the Enstone site from Monday 30 March until Sunday 19 April inclusive.

Regarding future developments, Renault added: "These initial measures taken at Enstone and Viry-Chatillon will be reviewed and adapted in view of the situation's evolution.

"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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