Formula 1

The formula of survival. Racing Queen may not survive the epidemic

While 89-year-old Ecclestone is preparing to become a father, his main creation – “the Formula-1” – faced with the threat of bankruptcy. If not the whole series, the individual commands.


Bernie-that – well done! Fire! Uncle in October will already be 90, and he and his 43-year-old wife Fabiana said that once again prepares to become a father. The boy must be born in July. “We are waiting for him in the summer. I hope he will soon learn to play backgammon!” – said Ecclestone.

Skip the jokes about secretaries and so on. Inappropriate. Bernie has repeatedly proven he’s not such a thing! We rejoice for the man and his entire family. The wife promises to give him the first son – while Ecclestone has only three daughters (and three grandsons and two granddaughters). The eldest daughter was born in 1955 – she’s older than the current wife of a billionaire. But that’s just a fact.

We also know that the important thing is the brainchild of Ecclestone – of course, “Formula 1”. He turned the series into the popular and hit the championship that we know today. He the Queen of Motorsport, shrouded in a cloak of glamour, big money, bathing in luxury and enjoying the world the love of the fans. Bernie has already sold the rights to the “Formula” Americans of Liberty Media. But it is still associated exclusively with her.

So, unlike Ecclestone, whose life, as we see in full swing, the “Formula-1” all is not so smooth.


Coronavirus and hit her. Stage in China was cancelled in February, but then the situation deteriorated sharply. The first “Grand Prix” of the season in Australia was canceled on the morning of the first practice. And away – Bahrain, China, then the Netherlands, Spain and Monaco, and later on, Azerbaijan… In all these countries the stages either canceled or postponed indefinitely. At the moment the start of the season is scheduled in Canada on June 12-14. But no confidence that will happen and he.

And all the unsuccessful race seriously hit the budget. As the series as a whole. And teams.

Someone, of course, radiates positivity. As a consultant to Red bull Helmut Marko. The same man who publicly discussed the possibility to close all of the pilots of the “Bulls” (including members of the youth program) at one training camp to get guys wares in one pot together had coronavirus, got put immunity and more about such nonsense thought. The Austrian public was subjected to obstruction, he immediately handed back (“my words are misunderstood”), but Oh well. Now, the same Helmut said:

– None of the teams is not subject to serious financial risk. In cases of emergency we have a plan to provide economic assistance. And if you have to, then all will receive the necessary support. There are no problems here.

But the optimism of Dr. Marco is not shared by all. Including – and in the “Red bull”. Franz Tost, boss of a Junior team, “bulls”, “alpha Tauri” (that is our Daniel Quat), was more cautious.

We did not race and do not receive income that would have to. The current situation will be serious consequences. The sum of losses – millions of dollars – said a Toast. – Not to sound like a pessimist, but a blow to the “Formula 1” will be strong. She will never be the same after the crisis. So now it’s about survival. If we spend at least 10-15 “Grand Prix”, it is somehow smooth out the situation. Otherwise the team will not be able to offset the costs. And we will have to discuss the most serious measures.

And Yes, chef “alpha Tauri” is not just said about the minimum number of stages. Because they can undo all. “Formula-1”, among other things, is a complex logistics, moving hundreds of people and the transfer of tens of tons of cargo between different countries and continents. Even if the situation improves, and quarantine in different parts of the world will begin to cancel, re-establish the whole process will be incredibly difficult. And will require a lot of time. So the rumors that the championship will not take place at all, not unfounded. And it becomes really a disaster.


Even the top teams like Ferrari and Mercedes, have long considered every cent. What about the small, private “stables” like “Williams” or “Haas”? They are so tight with money, but there is also such a blow. The bankruptcy of many companies in this situation is a very real possibility.

Yes, the leadership series has already taken action. In particular, it has frozen the changes in the regulations that were supposed to come into force in 2021. Now put them on hold for a season in 2022. And summer break was postponed to March-April – every team in the quarantine and can’t work (especially because in some countries, particularly in Italy, are in any case prohibited any work in industries not related to Essentials, and factories “the stables” is also a concern). Such measures will help to save – at least for the development of new cars. But will not solve all problems.

It’s not just the lost payments from the “Grand Prix” (about 20 percent in the budgets of the teams). But in the contracts with sponsors. You remember the glitz and glamour? So, in global crises, all of these areas suffer first. All begin to save on advertising, and this is the lion’s share of income, “the stables.” About this and said the French Toast – even when the coronavirus retreat, and daily life will gradually improve, the economy will still be in the pit. And most companies will either refuse funding formula teams or significantly cut. Where all this will lead, in advance hard to say. But definitely no good.


In the end, it’s not just about the teams. Talking about the “Formula 1”, as such. Liberty Media, buying the rights to the series, Bernie Ecclestone, took out a loan of as much as four billion dollars! Of them now to maturity remained 2.5 billion. So, the other day JP Morgan Bank (which acted as a creditor) warned the owners of the Queen of Motorsport about the danger of violations of the terms of the loan. To avoid this, the operating income of the series should be about 300 million a year. Last year she was on the level of 482 million. But already canceled 8 “Grand Prix” – more than a third of the total. And estimated losses from unsold tickets and unrealized rights to the TV broadcast was about 50-60 million. If things get worse (not to mention the cancellation of the championship), the Liberty Media will have big problems. And the Bank can require early repayment of the loan because of a violation of the terms of the transaction.

No wonder the reputable rating Agency Moody’s changed the Outlook on the “Formula-1” on negative (in other words – the organization close to collapse). However, it is noted that the series has the resources to deal with this situation.

Will see if. Bernie could. Save is Queen of Motorsport Liberty Media?

source: “Soviet sport”