Things are going from bad to worse with regards to Formula 1, the participating teams and races on the 2020 calendar. Today, more news of cancellations, forced leave and even an extended shutdown for F1.
F1’s extended shutdown
On Monday, the F1 teams, F1 commercial rights owners and the FIA held a conference call to discuss a number of matters related to the COVID-19 virus pandemic and this also included extending the shutdown period.
The FIA said the Strategy Group, F1 Commission and all 10 teams gave unanimous approval to extend the shutdown period from 21 days to 35 and the World Motor Sport Council ratified the decision.
The shutdown means efforts in areas such as design, research and development, production and fabrication must halt. A recent rule change extended the closure to power unit manufacturers in an effort to cut costs.
The Canadian Grand Prix will be the ninth race of the 2020 calendar to be canceled so far this season. The race was set to run on June 14 but the with the sheer amount of logistics and preparation required, the race organizers had to make a decision and chose to cancel.
While the French Grand Prix would be the next race and target for a season-opening event on June 26, it could be the Austrian Grand Prix that has a chance of actually running on July 5.
According to BBC’s Andrew benson, the British Grand Prix is now being viewed as a likely place to start the season on July 19.
F1 Forced Leave
With news that McLaren, Racing Point and Williams all engaged forced leave and pay cuts, Formula 1 itself has now, according the BBC, placed half of its staff on forced leave and initiated pay cuts.
With F1’s parent company as a major safety net, the move is most likely to reduce costs and be unified with what many teams are having to do in order to remain solvent. The first prize money payment has been made to the teams but with the first nine races of the season canceled or postponed, the impact on prize money will be significant for 2021.