Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris will see their 2020 retainer reduced as McLaren puts part of its staff on leave to help it deal with the financial impact of the coronvirus crisis.
McLaren did not state how many workers were put on furlough – for an initial period of three months – or the extent of the salary reduction for those who remain, but the team said the measures were “focused on protecting jobs in the short term”.
A supportive Sainz and Norris volunteered to take the same rate of reduction as their team members according to a report from the BBC.
‘Difficult’ for drivers to accept pay cuts amid crisis – Button
The team said the cost-saving measures were “to ensure our employees return to full-time work as the economy recovers”, adding that the steps were “part of wider cost-cutting measures due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on its business”.
McLaren Racing boss Zak Brown also volunteered to take a pay cut.
The team’s inevitable measures will likely be followed by similar actions from other teams as F1 fight to minimize the impact of the current crisis.
As young drivers, Sainz and Norris aren’t top earners in the sport, but the solidarity they have shown is commendable although necessary given the exceptional set of circumstances.
The pair’s actions also sets an intriguing precedent for Sainz and Norris’ peers. It will be interesting to see F1 superstars – like Lewis Hamilton who is rumored to earn a hefty $50 million annually at Mercedes – will accept to forego a portion of their massive retainer.
Earlier this week, 2009 F1 world champion Jenson Button told Sky Sports that pay cuts for drivers “should be happening”, but the Briton admitted that accepting the cutback was difficult as drivers have “a very different way of thinking”.
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