Formula 1 has been directly affected by the Coronavirus crisis. And, a few minutes ago, it has been revealed that all the F1 teams have agreed to explore budget cap further after crisis meeting. If we remember, the FIA has announced that the 2020 Formula 1 season will count as an official championship if the season has 8 or more races and today, April the 4th, F1 team principals have had a meeting in which the main topic was lowering a budget cap due to this crisis.
Before the coronavirus appeared, the teams had agreed to reduce the budget cap in 2021 to 150 million dollars (122 million pounds) – before was 170 million dollars (142 million pounds). This was the first “warning” that the F1 teams did. But, in today’s meeting, and regarding the actual situation of F1 and the world in general (mostly financially speaking), the teams have agreed to low the budget even more to 125 million dollars (102 million pounds).
The meeting lasted for 5 hours and a lot of team principals were discussing about very interesting points, for example, Ferrari’s team principal, Mattia Binotto, said that a single figure for all teams was not fair because a lot of smaller teams buy parts from the bigger teams and that wouldn’t be fair for them, although the bigger teams will be affected as well because they are footing the research and development costs of those parts, a cost that the smaller teams who buy them do not have. One clear example of this could be Haas, who buy every part but the aerodynamic surfaces and monocoque from Ferrari, Racing Point buys the whole rear end of their cars from Mercedes and there are some teams that do the exact thing with bigger teams, like Alpha Tauri and Red Bull.
There were a lot of topics in this meeting. Ultimately, there has been a rumour in social media, which says that the new F1 regulations (which were supposed to be ready for 2021 but they were delayed until 2022 due to COVID-19) could be ready until 2023 but it was rejected.
Another main topic, regarding the budget cap, is that Ferrari and Red Bull would be the most affected if the budget cap is lower than $150m and the Austrian team (Red Bull) was set to apply the new rules until 2023 but, as we’ve said, the FIA rejected that idea.
F1 teams are looking at the idea of having races behind closed doors, so the 15-18 race championship that is expected from Chase Carey (F1’s chairman) is done. The Chinese virus that appeared during the last days of December from last year, has caused that the first 8 Grand Prix were postponed or definitely cancelled (just like the Monaco GP). We hope that the season begins as soon as possible but the first thing that must be looked after is the safety and health of all the team members and fans.
Reporting by Daniel Mora Jimenez