London – The emergency plan with possibly 19 races to save the Formula 1 season this year is taking on delicate contours, the bosses of the motorsport premier class are now even hoping for a healing effect in the struggle for survival of some teams due to the Corona crisis.
“It will be painful, but the sport will have a future,” said Formula 1 director Ross Brawn: “I think we will be stronger once we have survived that.”
Short-time teams, nine canceled or postponed races, no income. Idling can become a major threat to the series, especially since, despite a targeted start to the season in early July, there is currently only one thing in Europe: uncertainty.
There is still a need for action, especially now. In an interview by the British broadcaster Sky Sports, Brawn appealed to the common sense and insight of all involved in the question of the hotly debated and probably most sensitive question in the billion-dollar Formula 1 circuit: the cap on spending.
The 175 million dollars (161 million euros) decided for 2021 are to be lowered again. The corona crisis created an opportunity to take a second look at it and consider what is realistic and reasonable, Brawn emphasized. “It would be irresponsible to ignore that.”
Everyone is for $ 150 million, “and a large majority – including one of the top teams – are willing to go well below $ 150 million,” McLaren CEO Zak Brown recently told the BBC. According to media reports, Mercedes is the top team that would agree to an even more significant cut. The two who have their big problem with it are said to be Ferrari and Red Bull – well known as major editors for years.
“You try to keep your advantage in difficult times,” criticized TV expert and ex-Formula 1 driver Christian Danner Ferrari in an interview with RTL / tv. The Scuderia doesn’t care about the other nine teams at all, Danner said. In addition to the industry giants Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull, everyone has “water up to their necks,” said Danner.
“We all have to adapt to the new situation,” Brawn affirmed – without naming any names. The 65-year-old knows only too well where and how much money is spent on the teams to be successful. He was with Benetton when Michael Schumacher won the first two of his seven world championship titles in the mid-1990s and later also the success partner at Ferrari when Schumacher won the remaining five triumphs from 2000 to 2004 inclusive. Perhaps the time had come to reset, Brawn said.
It will be shown when the time has come for the first race this year. Mind games indicate that it could start on July 5 in Spielberg in Austria. Follow stress weeks. “As soon as we know that we can get started, we could see two to three Grand Prix a month,” said automobile world leader Jean Todt to the portal “motorsport.com”. An expansion of the season beyond the end of the year is not likely, but it could happen.
To be able to award a title at all this season – it could be the truly historic seventh for Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton – Formula 1 has to start in October at the latest. Otherwise, it won’t even work with the minimum number of eight races for a World Championship classification. 22 Grand Prix was originally planned this year, more than ever in the World Cup since 1950.
To save what can still be saved, Brawn sets up fans for ghost races. A Grand Prix without a spectator is not great, “but it is better than not to drive at all”. The teams could arrive by charter plane, everyone would be tested. This is to ensure that there is no risk for anyone.