After Williams Consider Selling, Renault Express Intent to Stay in Formula One Despite Job Cuts

Renault said on Friday it will continue to run a team in the Formula One world championship, despite announcing nearly 15,000 job losses in the wake of plummeting car sales.

The French manufacturer, which returned to F1 in 2016 after a five-year absence, said upcoming changes to the sport's spending cap will help them continue to compete.

"We said publicly and we confirm that we intend to stay in Formula One," said interim Renault chief Clotilde Delbos.

"The news about the new salary cap in terms of investment is very good for us, because we had less in this area than some of our competitors which were spending a lot of money.

"So we're here to stay in Formula One."

It was announced earlier this week that spending by teams next season will be capped at USD 145 million in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Renault also provides the engines for McLaren's F1 cars, a role Mercedes will take over next year.

The team is still waiting for a first win since returning to the sport, although it did finish fourth in the manufacturers' standings in 2018 and fifth last year.

Renault is yet to announce a replacement for Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo, with the former Red Bull man set to leave for McLaren in 2021.

Frenchman Esteban Ocon is the team's other driver.

The Formula One season is still on hold due to the COVID-19 outbreak, although organisers are hoping to start a truncated campaign in July.


Williams announced the end of the Formula One team's title sponsorship with ROKiT on Friday but hoped to bring in new money to replace it.

The struggling team had extended only last July the contract with the company, whose business interests range from mobile phones to beer and vodka brands, through 2023.

Deputy principal Claire Williams said her team, which could be up for sale under a strategic review, had met contractual obligations.

"I have confidence that we can replace the ROKiT money but we also have existing sponsors that we are very happy with and are being incredibly supportive," she told reporters.

"I think the world is going to be a very different place but I'm sure there will still be appetite to sponsor in our sport, a sport that is undergoing huge change for the good."

ROKiT said it remained fully committed to its other motorsport partnerships. The company also sponsors Torque Esports' The Race All-Star series and Legends Trophy.

The F1 season has yet to start due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will have fewer races than the record 22 originally envisaged. Williams will have a new livery when it gets going.

A $145 million budget cap has been approved for 2021, with further cost saving and technical measures to come to help level the playing field.

The former champions, last for the past two years, have lost a number of partners but Williams defended their record.

"We very much feel that we look after our partners in a fantastic way," she said.

"We're working with a new agency and redeveloping the way in which we take Williams to market. Williams has always done a good job attracting new partners into our sport and I believe we will continue to do so."

(With inputs from AFP and Reuters)