Coronavirus pandemic is 'final wake-up call' for Formula One, says McLaren boss

Motorsport legend Mario Andretti speaks to Patrick Snell about how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting his birth country of Italy and one of the sports that brought him fame, Formula One.

Posted: Apr 17, 2020 6:00 AM
Updated: Apr 17, 2020 6:00 AM

The coronavirus pandemic is a "final wake-up call" for Formula One, McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl has warned.

The crisis has caused the start of the season -- initially set to begin in March -- to be delayed, with the Canadian Grand Prix recently becoming the ninth race to be either postponed or canceled.

Speaking to reporters on a video conference call on Wednesday, Seidl said the sport risked losing teams unless changes were made.

"It's not just the fear, I think it's reality," he said, as reported by Reuters. "There's a big risk that we could lose teams through this crisis.

"I think the crisis we are in now is, let's say, the final wake-up call ... the sport which was unhealthy before and not sustainable has now reached a point where we need big changes, drastic changes."

"I don't see any signs that Formula One will not exist in the next year," he added. "The biggest risk that I see is that we will lose teams if we don't take decisive actions now."

READ: Motorsport world pays tribute to 'racing legend' Stirling Moss

READ: 2020 F1 season could start behind closed doors, says Ross Brawn

Amid much confusion, the season opener in Australia was eventually canceled last month after a member of the McLaren team tested positive for coronavirus.

The Monaco Grand Prix -- the jewel in the crown of the F1 season -- has also been canceled and a further seven races postponed.

Formula One rules stipulate that a minimum of eight races must be held for a season to be classified as a world championship.

With the season on hold, McLaren -- along with four other British-based teams -- has opted to furlough a number of its workforce and use a UK government job scheme that pays employees placed on temporary leave 80% of their wages, to a maximum of £2,500 a month ($3,122).

Formula One has also temporarily furloughed half of its employees, it was announced on April 7, and its directors and executives -- including chief executive Chase Carey -- have taken a voluntary 20% pay cut.

The cancellations and posponements have already hit teams hard, with most of their revenues coming from broadcasting deals, race hosting fees and sponsorship, reports Reuters.

Teams have already agreed to a $150 million budget cap for the 2021 season in an attempt to level the playing field, but Seidl is in favor of a further reduction to $100 million.

"It's important to make now big decisions, to make another big step in terms of the level of the budget cap of the future," said Seidl.

"We think it's absolutely important now with all the financial losses that we will face this year, the magnitude of which is still unknown.

"I think $100 million is a good number to run a Formula One team in the way we want to see Formula One."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 46915

Reported Deaths: 2681
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11499683
Lake5053242
Elkhart316443
Allen2717128
St. Joseph186366
Cass16369
Hamilton1518100
Hendricks1386100
Johnson1254118
Porter71237
Tippecanoe6778
Madison64864
Clark63844
Bartholomew58244
Howard56057
LaPorte55326
Kosciusko5124
Vanderburgh4806
Jackson4653
LaGrange4657
Noble45728
Hancock43735
Boone43443
Delaware42949
Marshall4273
Shelby42025
Floyd37144
Morgan32531
Montgomery29320
Grant29026
Clinton2852
Monroe26628
Dubois2646
White26010
Decatur24832
Henry24315
Lawrence23624
Vigo2288
Dearborn22723
Harrison21022
Warrick21029
Greene18432
Miami1812
Jennings17111
Putnam1688
Scott1607
DeKalb1594
Daviess14116
Orange13523
Wayne1346
Perry1279
Steuben1262
Franklin1248
Jasper1142
Ripley1147
Carroll1102
Wabash1102
Fayette987
Newton9710
Whitley884
Starke853
Randolph784
Huntington712
Wells711
Jefferson701
Fulton681
Jay680
Washington661
Knox630
Pulaski621
Clay604
Gibson592
Rush563
Adams481
Benton480
Owen471
Sullivan441
Brown381
Blackford372
Posey360
Spencer351
Fountain302
Tipton301
Crawford290
Switzerland260
Martin220
Parke220
Ohio140
Warren141
Union130
Vermillion130
Pike90
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 55257

Reported Deaths: 2903
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin9825417
Cuyahoga7392372
Hamilton5605197
Marion273038
Lucas2669302
Pickaway218441
Summit2079206
Montgomery191826
Mahoning1805231
Butler151144
Columbiana128860
Stark1079112
Lorain98367
Trumbull91665
Warren81421
Clark7619
Belmont54322
Delaware54115
Fairfield52916
Tuscarawas52910
Medina50632
Lake48018
Miami45531
Licking44212
Portage42858
Ashtabula42544
Wood40451
Geauga39942
Clermont3906
Wayne35951
Richland3255
Allen30540
Mercer2788
Darke24525
Greene2449
Erie23422
Holmes2203
Huron1992
Madison1928
Ottawa13923
Crawford1345
Washington13020
Putnam12615
Sandusky12614
Hardin12012
Morrow1161
Ross1133
Auglaize1044
Coshocton902
Monroe8817
Jefferson832
Union801
Hancock781
Hocking788
Muskingum761
Preble701
Williams682
Guernsey673
Lawrence670
Clinton660
Shelby644
Fulton610
Ashland581
Carroll583
Logan581
Wyandot585
Brown541
Defiance493
Fayette460
Knox451
Highland441
Athens431
Champaign391
Scioto380
Seneca332
Perry321
Van Wert320
Henry290
Paulding230
Adams221
Pike220
Vinton222
Jackson180
Gallia141
Harrison121
Meigs110
Morgan110
Noble110
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Overcast
79° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 81°
Angola
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 88°
Huntington
Broken Clouds
80° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 82°
Decatur
Broken Clouds
88° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 88°
Van Wert
Broken Clouds
88° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 88°
More Heat & Humidity Sunday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events