The future of the $10 billion sport is in crisis, warns McLaren Formula One Chief Executive Officer Zak Brown.
McLaren, along with fellow British team Rokit Williams Racing, has temporarily furloughed of several employees, as part of their on-going cost-cutting measures which is expected to last until the end of May. McLaren's senior management and drivers Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris have also taken a 20% pay cut effective 1st April.
As things stand, the entire race season is in jeopardy with severe delays to key fixtures with races such as the Australian and Monaco Grand Prix being cancelled.
With a 2-week extension of the shutdown period and the proposed season opener at Montreal (14th June) being postponed, the chances of Formula 1 starting on its mid-June timeline for the 2020 season are at the end of the rope.
FIA 2020 Formula One Sporting Regulations state that for the 2020 season to be valid, a minimum of 8 races is required to be held. As of now, with only 13 out of the scheduled 22 races still on the table, the loss in revenue would severely affect the teams, especially with the risk of the season being further shortened.
"This is potentially devastating to teams, and if [it is devastating] to enough teams - which doesn't have to mean more than two - then very threatening to F1 as a whole," Brown told BBC Sport.
BBC Sport reports that F1 bosses have gathered on Monday to discuss cost-saving plans. With teams and drivers under lockdown, Zak Brown believes that F1 is in a "very fragile state" and he has urged for significant measures to be taken to help the sport survive the crisis.
Brown believes the budget cap of $175 million scheduled to be introduced in 2021 should be lowered significantly to $100 million, to save the sport from potential disaster. He also said that four teams could bow out from the sport if the situation isn't handled properly.
"So I think F1 is in a very fragile state at the moment," says Zak Brown.
Ever since the coronavirus stuck, many sports events had to be postponed indefinitely, cutting the cash flow that usually pays staff salaries. No matter what they do now, Formula 1 included, sports will change.