McLaren chief executive Zak Brown says that Formula One is in a “very fragile state” and must accept some drastic changes if the sport’s smaller teams are to survive the economic aftershocks of the coronavirus pandemic.
Brown’s claims echo the words of Red Bull team principal Christian Horner who just last week admitted that some of the privateer teams may find themselves in serious financial trouble once the pandemic abates.
“This is potentially devastating to teams, and if [it is devastating] to enough teams – which doesn’t have to mean more than two – then very threatening to F1 as a whole,” Brown told BBC Sport this morning.
“Could I see – through what is going on right now in the world if we don’t tackle this situation head on very aggressively – two teams disappearing? Yeah.
“In fact, I could see four teams disappearing if this isn’t handled the right way.
“So I think F1 is in a very fragile state at the moment.”
Team bosses are scheduled to meet today to discuss cost-saving measures, but teams are divided over how to protect the financial interests of the sport.
Brown believes that the sport’s budget cap, which is slated to be introduced next season, must be lowered significantly to assist the smaller teams.
The $150 million budget cap is still well above the current spending levels of many teams, something Brown says the sport must assess before pushing ahead with its intentions.
“If we don’t make an aggressive enough budget cap and some people feel they have to top up this year and have no chance of getting it back,” he said, “then they ask themselves: Why are they in it?
“I don’t think anyone competes in F1 just to make up the numbers.”