Brown warns four F1 teams could disappear amid crisis

McLaren Formula 1 team CEO Zak Brown has cautioned that the sport could lose as many as four teams if the coronavirus crisis "isn't handled the right way."

Brown warns four F1 teams could disappear amid crisis

With no races currently taking place, all teams are facing a financial squeeze.

They still have significant overheads such as salaries, while facing the prospect a future loss of income from both the F1 prize fund and their own sponsors.

Brown believes that the sport should take steps such as further lowering the budget cap that comes into force in 2021.

He also warned that if teams do hit trouble, there are no potential buyers around in a position to save them.

"This is potentially devastating to teams," Brown told BBC Sport. "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.

"Could I see - through what is going on right now in the world if we don't tackle this situation head on very aggressively - two teams disappearing? Yeah.

"In fact, I could see four teams disappearing if this isn't handled the right way.

"And then, given how long it takes to ramp up an F1 team, and given the economic and health crisis we are in right now, to think there would be people lined up to take over those teams like there has historically been... I don't think the timing could be worse from that standpoint.

"So I think F1 is in a very fragile state at the moment."

Read Also:

In a separate BBC TV interview, Brown indicated that the sport could survive losing one team, but any more would cause difficulties.

"We currently have 10 teams, 20 cars on the grid. Not too long ago after the financial crisis we had 18 cars.

"I think that's about the limit, so in reality, we could probably afford to lose one. Two becomes the red zone, and I think three we have very, very substantial problems."

Brown says that teams have already agreed in principle to lower the budget cap from $175m to $150m, and that one of the three main players most affected by the cap is willing to go even further.

"You have everyone at $150m, and the strong majority - including one of the big teams - willing to come substantially under $150m.

"If we don't make an aggressive enough budget cap and some people feel they have to top up this year and have no chance of getting it back, then they ask themselves: Why are they in it?

"I don't think anyone competes in F1 just to make up the numbers."

shares
comments
How Formula 1 reacted to fuel trickery

Previous article

How Formula 1 reacted to fuel trickery

Next article

Wolff rules out formal role or 'strategic' Aston investment

Wolff rules out formal role or 'strategic' Aston investment
Load comments
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Prime

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says Stuart Codling.

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Prime

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Prime

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Prime

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Prime

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1's elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he's recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Italian Grand Prix driver ratings

Two drivers produced faultless performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left many to rue what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Prime

Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Prime

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of "glory" if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1's other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021