American McLaren CEO Zak Brown has claimed that if F1 did not race during 2020 it would be devastating to the teams and knock Formula 1 down a notch.
“If we end up having no F1 this year, I think the financial consequences for all the teams in F1 itself will be devastating, just as I think it would be for any industry if you actually shut down for an entire year," Brown warned.
“Then we would need an additional rethink or a solution because, while we’ve modeled all the financial situations, the consequences of not racing are extremely severe for all of us, Formula 1 included."
For 2019 Ferrari received $205 million while Mercedes received $177 million from F1 prize money/profit sharing.
At the low end of the spectrum, Toro Rosso received $52 million, while Williams received $50 million in prize money plus a further $10 million as a result of being a ‘historic’ team.
Those payments are based off the sport’s profits, with Formula 1 having three primary revenue streams; hospitality and trackside signage, promoter fees, and broadcast rights. Each contributes roughly a third of F1’s annual income.
Less races means significantly reduced TV revenue and sanction fess
“I think you all know it’s a healthy number; there or thereabouts around a billion dollars that gets shared with the teams," Brown said of the prize money paid out.
“And if that were to go away or predominantly go away, that’s a massive amount of money that we’re all depending on.
“So if that went away or was drastically reduced, which is what would happen if we didn’t race, we’re all going to need to find solutions to those lack of resources."
Recent chatter has centered on the prospect of the Red Bull Ring hosting two events in July, followed by two at Silverstone in an effort to kick-start the year.
“I think the plan that Chase has shared with us, which is very much a work in progress, seems to be a very sensible plan," Brown explained.
“I think going racing without spectators, or certainly in the short term going racing without spectators, is the realistic way to go racing.
“If we thought we were going to go to Austria and the British Grand Prix with 100,000 people, I think that would be naive to think so. The plan does not call for that.
“Therefore, it feels like a realistic plan. He’s been speaking with the various governments, so I’m pretty optimistic.
“I think sport has always been a great healer around the world," Brown added.
“So I think the appetite for F1, closed doors or not, and sport in general, will be awesome."