Teams like Williams and Racing Point might be in danger of bankruptcy
With the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19 and uncertainties regarding the F1 2020 season, the smaller teams are in danger.
Recently, Liberty Media was urged by Motorsport UK chairman David Richards to do help out more the smaller F1 teams such as Williams and Racing Point, due to them being in “distinct danger” in the recent times of crisis. With the COVID-19 outbreak two races have been already cancelled and 6 postponed, and with the uncertainties of the 2020 season still ahead many teams are already facing a huge financial fit that can become breaking for the smaller teams that do not have as much of a financial backing behind them as the bigger ones.
In a recent interview, Helmut Marko, the advisor of Red Bull has said that if five GPs will be cancelled, that will mean a cost of $100 million to the teams. The chairman of Motorsport UK David Richards fears that would mean losing at least two teams - Williams and Racing Point.
Richards reached out to Liberty Media and urged the bosses of F1 to help the teams financially.
As he said in an interview: “A lot will depend on the way Formula One behaves throughout this,” Richards told PA Sport. F1 cannot afford to lose teams at the back of the grid because that would be a disaster for them. Bernie made sure that when there were tough times the smaller teams were looked after and I hope that Liberty see the common sense in that, too.”
He added: “The big manufacturers such as Mercedes and Renault will be okay, but if you look at Williams and Racing Point, for example, it is not going to be easy for them. There is a distinct danger of operations going out of business. There will be motorsport companies who do not have the resources to get through this period. It is going to be a real challenge.”
In a recent interview, Claire Williams spoke out about the fears she’s currently facing at Williams.
As she said: “I suppose the main consideration for any team is around manufacturing, because you can’t manufacture parts at home. So if we have to shut down our factory that can be incredibly difficult. There’s also the consideration around if we don’t go to races, then what happens with prize fund money? Does that then decrease, which obviously would be incredibly difficult to manage? And I suppose at the moment, we’re just hoping that that is not the case.”
Williams added that not only is the prize fund money a concern, but also the fact that although not going to races saves them money, it does not make up for the loss of revenue they are facing with the races being postponed and cancelled. She added “You’ve still got wages to pay. Most teams their wage bill is the largest proportion of their monthly expenditure. So you still got to pay wages.”
Also the team boss of Alfa Romeo Fredric Vasseur spoke out about the situation regarding the financial hits everyone is facing.
As he said: “The financial crisis in 2008 meant that three to four teams had to leave F1 and that could happen again. We don't get TV money and without a solution we get into trouble. We are all in the same boat, so we have to come to a solution together”
The big bosses of F1 have a lot on their plates right now. They do not only need to come up with solutions to the many problems the sport is currently facing in the times of the pandemic, but they also need to make sure their decisions always prioritise the safety and health of those who are involved. Currently the season is set to begin in Canada, but as of yet it has not been confirmed by the organisers if the races will take place as scheduled.