Losing a team would be ’a big setback’ for F1
"This is potentially devastating to teams"
Two more teams have joined McLaren in furloughing employees amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"The furlough period will last until the end of May whilst senior management, and our drivers, have taken a pay cut of 20 percent effective from 1 April," backmarker Williams announced.
It is part of a British government scheme that pays employees 80 percent of their wages for a period.
It is understood that Racing Point is following suit, as is the Liberty Media-run Formula 1 organisation. Haas is also believed to be considering a furlough.
F1 CEO Chase Carey and sporting boss Ross Brawn have cut their salaries by 20 percent, the Daily Mail reports, with half of Formula One Management’s 500 staff also put on furlough.
The developments come as team bosses met again via teleconference with Carey and FIA president Jean Todt on Monday to discuss lowering the 2021 budget cap from $175m.
A reduction to $150m has already been agreed in principle, but some want is slashed further to $125 million - or even as low as $100 million.
It comes after McLaren boss Zak Brown told the BBC that the sport is now in "a very fragile" state with as many as four teams in danger of going under.
"This is potentially devastating to teams, and if enough teams (go) - which doesn’t have to mean more than two - then (it is) very threatening to F1 as a whole," he said.
How long the sport can survive without races is unclear, but there is no doubt that eventually the money will dry up.
"It’s difficult to guess how many months they can stay idle - it has never been thought about that this sort of thing could happen to a season," said C More commentator Ossi Oikarinen.
"But losing just one team would be a big setback for F1. It’s a pretty big thing to get a new team up and running if some go, so it’s very important that it doesn’t happen."
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