McLaren Technology Centre exterior, aerial view

McLaren to cut 1,200 staff from group including F1 team

2020 F1 season

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McLaren has announced it will make major job cuts as a consequence of the pandemic.

Around 1,200 jobs will be lost across the group’s road car, technology and Formula 1 operations. Its racing division, which employs around 800 of its near 4,000-strong workforce, will lose around 70 employees.

RaceFans understands the lay-offs on the racing side of the team have come about as a result of the loss of income from sponsorship and other revenue as a result of the disruption to the start of the motor racing season. The first 10 F1 races have been cancelled or postponed. The start of the IndyCar season, which McLaren is entering this year, has also been delayed.

The company is seeking additional funding from investors. It has considered securing it against the value of its spectacular headquarters in Surrey and collection of heritage Formula 1 cars.

McLaren was the first F1 team to put staff on furlough in response to the pandemic. This allows companies to reclaim 80% of a furloughed employee’s salary, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. Drivers also Carlos Sainz Jnr and Lando Norris accepted reductions in their pay.

While its racing activities are on hold, McLaren has used its manufacturing facilities to contribute to the Ventilator Challenge UK project to build medical equipment to help with the pandemic effort.

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27 comments on “McLaren to cut 1,200 staff from group including F1 team”

  1. More than a quarter. Sorry for all those affected, hopefully things recover soon. I’ve no doubt they’re bright good people, hopefully the world will get back to normal and they find a place doing something they enjoy again.

  2. Quite an impressive HQ!

    1. So sad to hear all this about mclaren. Perhaps the current shareholders should have accepted ron dennises take over bid. There might have been alot more money in the pool now. I dont think ron dennis would have wanted to sell any of the classic cars and more importantly the beautiful headquarters. I hope this is not the beginning of the end for mclaren.

      1. Not sold, mortgaged.

  3. The message to those losing their jobs is “ We care more about getting a medium rated driver to the team than we do about you”.

    It seems the ghost of Ron still stalks the place.

    1. Luckily, they managed to find enough money to lure Ricciardo to partner him next year

  4. Does this mean people will no-longer pay 350k € for cars?

    1. people probably still pay this kind of money for good exotic cars, becuase most rich people only get richer in such crysis, but the McLaren isn’t really good or exotic anymore. They churn out these very similar models every few months, with poor reliability and extraordinary maintenance costs. People who can spend this kind of money want easily recognisable cars, but you need to be an afficionado to tell apart most of their lineup (540, 570, 600, 620, etc)

      1. @gechichan Remind me, which exotic cars are reliable and cheap to maintain?

        1. @hiperr for example, the current breed of Lamborghinis are more reliable, and have a better service network around the globe. McLarens usually need to be sent back in pieces to the UK, even for rather minor faults.

          1. @gechichan That’s a fair call – Lamborghini are probably the exception in this case. The platform-sharing between the Huracan and R8 probably help in this regard (I don’t know about the reliability of the Aventador), and they’re reasonably conservative as far as the technology they are using in their vehicles. I was thinking more of the comparison with Ferrari, which don’t have the advantage of German QC fussiness to provide oversight and iron out the issues – as a result, Ferraris seem to often be both pretty unreliable and very expensive to maintain.

  5. I am certain all these people working at McLaren are top of their field. Where I live a lot of pepople lost their jobs due to this pandemic. The ones from high-tech companies are basiclly headhunted in to new jobs almost as soon as they leave the door.

    We try to fight for their attention. I would be much more worried about people loosing their jobs in more mundane car companies.

  6. This is surely just the start, I expect more teams – and UK businesses in general if I’m honest – to start making announcements like this soon.

    1. Exactly. We’re going to see a lot of this sort of news.

  7. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
    26th May 2020, 17:08

    Shoddy reliability, poor resale, expensive maintenance/repair, and several models that are basically all 2 door sports cars that look nearly identical, with a minor change and a “new” version. McLaren is basically relying on loyal customers to spend millions of dollars to buy each minor power output and accompanying badge change.

    McLaren’s road car lineup needs a SERIOUS overhaul if they want to have much a future.

    1. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
      26th May 2020, 17:09

      McLaren was in trouble before the pandemic. It just acerbated the problem.

      1. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
        26th May 2020, 17:09


        1. Axactly.

          1. Sonny Crockett
            27th May 2020, 12:43

            Hmmm… most long-term reviews of recent McLaren cars say that they are very reliable. For example:


    2. I wasn’t aware McLaren had such a reputation, but if true then shedding this number of staff isn’t going to help restore it, although they probably don’t have much choice. Really, rebuilding their brand should have been the priority before the pandemic, now it’s even more imperative, but they’ll have less staff to do it.

      1. I actually don’t think they have @drycrust. But they certainly are not as established as Ferrari, or even Lamoborghini.

        1. @bascb Thanks. I know if I was buying a car in this sort of price range then I’d be expecting to get at least as good reliability as a regular car.

          1. No way would you expect that, unless you are a complete newby @drycrust.

            These are cars that have to be pre heated to start smoothly. To have oil changes like every 5-7000 km. You’d be expected to have the whole engine rebuild say every 20k kilometers etc!

            From what I have seen so far, Ferrari stands out with worse of those, and top end cost. But it seems that is taken more as a feature (a badge of honour to be able to pay crazy expensive service?).
            But one thing Ferrari has nailed (with most models), is the resale value. They are THE brand for race cars. So they can be safely seen as an investment, or at least a way to set aside money for later.

            With McLaren that is not really the case, they drop in value. At least for now, they are nice to have, but not an asset with fixed value. Or value going up over time.

      2. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
        27th May 2020, 7:42

        @drycrust @bascb – I submitted another post, but I think it evaporated into the ether…

        Anyways, McLaren’s reputation, at least here in the States, is really bad. Reliability isn’t all that good, to the point most people won’t buy a McLaren unless it has a warranty. If you go on the McLaren forums or on the internet in general, you get a lot of people who share their horror stories, and then you get a handful of fan boys just drowning out any criticisms. Yes, the McLarens of late have gotten much better, but they’re still at or below Ferrari, and definitely below Lambo/Porsche in terms of reliability. On top of that, service can take a while, parts are hard to get, and everything is expensive.

        Once you finally get a reliable McLaren, you are quickly faced with absolutely atrocious value retention. 12C’s are trading at $70k. 675LT’s can be had for $150k-ish, and 720S’s are under $200k. Who wants to purchase a car that’s going to lose $50k+ of value per year? The only people buying McLarens are enthusiasts willing to take the hit.

  8. The budget cap is already having an influence on teams operations I see

    1. No doubt this is a prelude to the Budget Cap.
      With this years F1 cars carrying over to next and then the limitation on investment / spending, it is a good time (from McLaren’s perspective) to thin the ranks. That covers the F1 team and some of the R&D, but the road car production is a market response.
      As mentioned, the caliber of people involved should be a boon to other industries. Not that they like the forced change, but in 10 years we will be reading about accomplishments that started in May 2020.
      Best of luck to all of them.

  9. What a cluster this pandemic has caused. I’m assuming the indyCar team is not affected. They had plenty of sponsorship and weren’t taking anymore.

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