Formula E Chairman Alejandro Agag has warned the motorsport world that many series are not going to survive the coronavirus pandemic, saying the sport must amalgamate into a small number of series.
In an interview with motorsport.com as a part of their #ThinkingForward series, Agag argued that the economic aftershocks of the covid-19 crisis will be the death of many global racing series. But he went on to add the industry has the opportunity to consolidate itself around a significantly smaller number of events.
“We are going to see a lot of consolidation in the motorsport industry and I think it will now happen by necessity, because some series are not going to survive on their own,” Agag told motorsport.com.
“Already some series were struggling, there were too many series. Motorsport is here to stay, it’s not going anywhere. We need to know that this is not the end of the world. There is going to be a tomorrow and it is going to be different. We have to prepare for that.
“But maybe it doesn’t need 35 different series around the world. Maybe with six or seven series around the world it’s enough to cover the needs of the fans.
“Because at the end, motorsport is a service to the fans and a laboratory for technology, but that part can be done with a small number of series.”
Agag went on to echo the calls of FIA President Jean Todt whom last week said that motorsport – in particular Formula 1 – will need to recalibrate the approach to motorsport’s place within an entirely different society.
“I saw Jean Todt’s interview of course and I agree with him. I think we need a new deal. Generally for motorsport this could be an opportunity.
“And specifically for Formula 1 this could be a massive opportunity to restructure the whole model and I think that is the key for the new deal.
“The rest of us will follow and we are smaller. The pinnacle of motorsport is F1 and that’s where the big imbalance exists. We will do our little new deal at the Formula E level, everyone is on board and aligned together with FIA on it.
“For the rest of motorsport it depends. Some will do well, some will do less well. Spectator sport is going to suffer.”
Agag went on to discuss how he believes Formula E, the motor racing series for which his accountable for, will surmount the economic crisis it is currently battling.
“If we had seen this problem in our first season it probably would have killed us.”
Formula E was one of the first top-tier motorsport series to suspend their season, acting on the weekend of the Australian Grand Prix in March.
Since then, one-by-one other series succumbed to the inevitable and entered a coronavirus-induced suspension.
“We acted very fast in a flexible way, we took measures very early, we cancelled races very early and we are taking measures to protect the teams and the ecosystem,” Agag added.
“We are in very good shape. We have a business model that is resistant to these kinds of circumstances; we don’t rely too much on ticketing revenue for example. Then you have the teams and you need to protect them and cut costs now, because now is when they are having their main problem.
“Formula E is going to emerge well; it is at a level of costs that is manageable, the business model is manageable. I can send a message to the whole Formula E community that it is going to be in good shape. It won’t be exactly the same, we have to cut costs and be smart.”