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Bahrain McLaren face fresh uncertainty as McLaren cuts 1200 jobs

PLAISIR FRANCE MARCH 08 Start Podium Dylan Teuns of Belgium and Team Bahrain Mclaren Pello Bilbao of Spain and Team Bahrain Mclaren Damiano Caruso of Italy and Team Bahrain Mclaren Ivan Garcia Cortina of Spain and Team Bahrain Mclaren Heinrich Haussler of Australia and Team Bahrain Mclaren Domen Novak of Slovenia and Team Bahrain Mclaren Hermann Pernsteiner of Austria and Team Bahrain Mclaren Jan Tratnik of Slovenia and Team Bahrain Mclaren during the 78th Paris Nice 2020 Stage 1 a 154km stage from Plaisir to Plaisir ParisNice PN on March 08 2020 in Plaisir France Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images
Bahrain McLaren line-up at Paris-Nice (Image credit: Getty Images)

Bahrain McLaren are facing further uncertainty over their long-term future after co-title sponsor McLaren announced sweeping cuts across its business.

On Tuesday, the automotive and technology company acknowledged it had been "severely affected" by the coronavirus pandemic and confirmed reports it would cut a quarter of its workforce, equating to 1,200 job losses.

The Bahrain McLaren team, who imposed pay deferrals on riders earlier this year, are now waiting to see how the cuts will affect their budget. The team underwent a major shake-up for 2020 after Vincenzo Nibali left for Trek-Segafredo, with Rod Ellingworth joining from Team Sky as team manager.

"Team Bahrain McLaren acknowledges McLaren Group’s announcement of a significant redundancy programme,” the team said in a statement to Cyclingnews.

"The team is working to fully understand any related impact to its own operations, and has no further comment at this time."

While McLaren is cutting back heavily, the team’s position is made even more unstable by the slump in oil prices in the Middle East, with the main financial backing coming from a group of state-run companies in Bahrain.

Earlier this year, Cyclingnews reported that the team’s riders, including Mark Cavendish and Mikel Landa, had been forced to take a 70 per cent pay deferral in March, April and May. There were also payment delays last December. It is not yet clear how June’s pay will be affected.

"As with most businesses around the world, our income during this period is subject to great uncertainty. As such we are acting in the longer term interests of our riders and staff, to ensure we have the means to operate at a competitive and viable level once this crisis abates," said Ellingworth at the time.

News of the job cuts at McLaren were first reported by Sky News on Tuesday, with McLaren issuing a statement later in the day.

The McLaren business comprises car manufacturing, a Formula 1 team, and its ‘Applied’ technology division, as well as the pro cycling arm. 

With production at its UK plant suspended since March, McLaren has been scrambling to shore up its finances, looking to raise £250m by using its classic car collection as security, and reportedly applying for a £150m emergency loan from the UK government, which was denied.

"It is a course of action we have worked hard to avoid, having already undertaken dramatic cost-saving measures across all areas of the business. But we now have no other choice but to reduce the size of our workforce," read the statement from McLaren.