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All European races could be held behind closed doors

NEWS STORY
17/04/2020

While F1 might have placed half of its workforce on the taxpayer funded furlough scheme, it cannot place the entire sport on it, and therein lies the problem.

Despite the fact that there is relatively no income coming in, the bills are mounting up.

As of yesterday, according to the Nasdaq, at $2.4bn (1.9bn) F1 is worth less than wrestling's WWE, which is valued at $3bn (2.38bn). Indeed, the entire F1 Group, which includes sizable stakes in Live Nation and the Atlanta Braves is worth $5.1bn (4bn).

Consequently the sport needs to be up and running as soon as possible and at the present time almost every option imaginable is being considered.

Despite the extension of restrictions in France and Belgium, and the latest worrying news from China, Zak Brown reveals that F1 bosses are still hoping to hold the British Grand Prix in July as scheduled, albeit behind closed doors.

"Everything is very tentative but it would go on its scheduled date but closed to fans," said the American, according to the BBC. "In fact, it looks like possibly all the European rounds will most likely be in that scenario."

"With our condensed schedule, what's the best way to get as much racing done as possible?" he continued. "One of the ideas is potentially multiple events at the same location, Silverstone being one of those."

While a second, even third, race at the Northamptonshire track is possible, the fact that any changes - such as running on a reverse layout - would require a fresh Grade 1 licence from the FIA - which is not the work of a moment - would appear to rule out that particular option.

However, as we said, no racing means no money, and while the teams are still receiving the regular payments that make up the 2019 prize money, at a time F1 is digging down the back of the sofa, the teams are aware that the clock is ticking.

"It's extremely tough," said the American. "There's little to no revenue coming in. You know, we're not racing. The contributions that the promoters make, sponsor partners, have been great, but they're under an immense amount of pressure themselves.

"So we have kind of turned the faucets off on any money we're spending to limp through to when we're ready to start racing again."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by nickybur, 20/04/2020 10:50

"What part of the NHS would you expect to look after an injured driver after an accident at Silverstone? "

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2. Posted by Editor, 19/04/2020 10:39

"@ nickybur

???"

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3. Posted by nickybur, 19/04/2020 10:33

"And then someone gets injured and ends up in intensive care. That would look good."

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4. Posted by @R1Racing71, 18/04/2020 8:24

"That’s the only way to save F1.
I would also add that if they made all the races free to air on TV - this would be a massive opportunity to reintroduce F1 to the casual sports fan.
F1 would have a captive audience, and therefore creates great sponsorship opportunities, which would go some way to covering the cost.

Al the current contracts have a force majeure in them, so I suggest this in invoked and everyone get on with it.

Or is that too simple.
"

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5. Posted by nnails, 18/04/2020 7:04

"The circuit are not going to agree to closed door race as they mak there money from fans coming.

"

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6. Posted by elsiebc, 17/04/2020 17:04

"At first I disagreed with Bernie's call to scrap the whole season but now I'm tending to agree with him. All the sponsors and all the media that pay huge sums of money to be part of F1 are going to realize a major drop in value for their dollar if all the races are held on a handful of circuits and over a much shortened period of time. They will have new data to determine value for next year and negotiate appropriately, or just go somewhere else. Absent a new yardstick for value the old determinations remain relevant. Just think about how Ron Dennis was trying to sell McLaren sponsorship at historical values when their current form suggested otherwise. The sponsors went away and now McLaren is one of the loudest voices calling for a budget cap of 100M when 20 years ago they were spending over 3x's that amount... in non inflation adjusted dollars!"

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