Horner trusts owner Liberty to stand by F1

Christian Horner
Christian Horner

(GMM) Christian Horner says he trusts Liberty Media to stand firm with Formula 1 throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead of crowning winners in Australia and Bahrain and looking ahead to round three in Vietnam, the sport is currently at a complete and indefinite standstill.

Initially, there were fears the smallest teams may not survive the loss of income, but now there are concerns about the manufacturers, sponsors and circuits as well – and the entire sport.

F1's FWONK share price has crashed by more than 40 percent, and Forbes' F1 business journalist Christian Sylt said there is speculation "the sport could be a takeover target" because of Liberty Media's debt.

"To be honest, the Liberty structure is quite complicated," Red Bull team boss Christian Horner told the BBC.

"And you can only imagine that Live Nation, the owner, is also taking a hit on the events business.

"But they have deep pockets as well. And they have always taken a long-term view on this. I think they will do whatever is needed to ensure the sport continues," Horner added.

But that doesn't mean F1 is not taking drastic precautionary measures, including delaying the new 2021 rules until 2022 and considering a lower-than-$175m budget cap for 2021.

Horner says the teams are also thinking about freezing not just the 2020 monocoque for 2021, but also other parts including suspension, gearbox and "60 percent" of the car in total.

"We're also talking about pushing the new regulations back a further year, because in my mind it would be totally irresponsible to have the burden of development costs in 2021," he said.

"There seems to be reasonable agreement but it needs ratifying by the FIA to push back those development costs into 2022 for introduction in the '23 season."

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