Horner: F1 will survive, but will all 10 teams?

Michelle Foster
Christian Horner not a fan of aero handicap system.

Christian Horner not a fan of aero handicap system.

Formula 1 with its “deep pockets” will survive the ongoing financial crisis but Christian Horner wonders whether all 10 teams will be on the grid to enjoy the moment.

Unable to race and facing the prospect of a dramatically reduced championship, the Formula 1 teams are losing money – and a lot of it.

To date two grands prix, Australia and Monaco, have been cancelled while six; Bahrain, Vietnam, China, Holland, Spain and Baku, have been postponed.

The teams are doing what they can to save money, not only voting to race this year’s chassis next season but also deferring the new technical regulations to 2022.

There is also talk of freezing other components such as the survival cell.

All of that, though, may not be enough to save some of the smaller teams, such as Williams, who are already fighting for their survival.

Red Bull team boss Horner says it is up to the rest of the teams to do what they can to keep the smaller teams alive.

“F1 is a very strong business and it’s got enormous heritage,” he told BBC Sport. “F1 will survive this.

“Whether all the teams survive this is another matter, and it is the responsibility of all the team principals to act with the interests of the sport and all its participants (in mind), to do our best to ensure all 10 teams come out the other side.

“The difference in 2008 was we were still racing, there was still a calendar, there were still events. You could see the issue more clearly, whereas here we are more blind.

“When will we start racing again? It’s a different scenario. 2008 had its pressures and the people in the room at that time – Ron Dennis, Flavio Briatore and so on – were thinking about the interests of the sport and it is crucial we do that collectively at this time.

“The world is a different place at the moment. Of course revenue is hit very hard. We don’t know how hard it will hit F1 yet.

“All the teams have been reacting responsibly and collectively. Obviously some teams are more exposed than others, particularly the small ones, and it’s important that we try our best to protect the F1 community as best we can.”

The crisis has also hit Formula 1’s owner, Liberty Media.

Over the course of the last month shares on the Nasdaq under the ticker FWONK have plummeted to $27,23, down $10 on the late February price.

Horner isn’t worried.

“To be honest, the Liberty structure is quite complicated and you can only imagine that Live Nation, the owner, is also taking a hit on the events business,” he said.

“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.”

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