Zak Brown poses for media during an event. File
Formula One can be expected to ‘hit a glitch’ as the sport tries to complete a 2020 season stalled by the COVID-19 pandemic but 14-15 races looks feasible, McLaren boss Zak Brown said on Monday.
The American told motorsport.com that number could be achieved at 10 circuits. Organisers have said they are aiming for 15-18 races, ending with a double-header in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi in December.
“I think we will do a couple of races in Austria, a couple of races at Silverstone,” said Brown.
“If we start running into issues with travelling, then I think you could see doubling up some other races.
“I’m going to assume that we’re going to hit a glitch, somewhere along the way.
“If we want to go to Asia, or America, I think it’s going to be when we get on planes and have to fly overseas where I think the risk will start to potentially get greater.” Austria is expected to host two races from July to start a season that has so far seen 10 rounds either cancelled or postponed.
The scheduled opener in Australia on March 15 was cancelled after a McLaren team member tested positive for the new coronavirus.
Meanwhile, the managing director of Formula One has said spending cuts will be necessary to prevent the “tragedy” of teams leaving the sport amid the coronavirus.
Ross Brawn added Monday that the cost cap for the 2021 season is set to be cut to $145 million (£117 million) and could be reduced further in subsequent years, with a more even distribution of prize money another measure to help increase the competitiveness of the sport.
A spending cap of $175 million was set to be introduced next year in a bid to help even up the competition.
But, following the outbreak of the global pandemic that has seen the postponement or cancellation of 10 rounds of this year’s world championship, talks on reducing the figure have been held with the FIA, motorsport’s world governing body.
“There has been a lot of consultation and we are in the final stages,” Brawn told Sky Sports.
“We’re going to start with a cap of $145 million and then the discussion is how much further down we can drive costs in the next few years.
“There is going to be a much more equitable prize fund in the new agreement. The midfield teams in particular are going to be much better off in terms of their proportion of the prize money.
“So a good midfield team should be able to score podiums, maybe a win, and should be able to show a small profit. If we can achieve that we should have a very sustainable future.”
The likes of Grand Prix giants Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari each have an annual spend more than double the initial proposed cap of $175 million.
And the team principal of Italian mainstays Ferrari, arguably the most famous marque in the sport, told the Guardian last month they could do the once unthinkable and quit the sport if the “demanding request” of a further spending cap became a reality.
Nevertheless, Brawn -- a former Ferrari technical director and Mercedes team principal -- said: “It has become very clear, from talking to the management of the teams. The message is clear. We’ve got to cut costs and have a reduction of the cost cap... If we lose some teams in this period it would be a tragedy.”
Formula One hopes to start its delayed 2020 season in Austria in July without spectators before ending in Abu Dhabi in December after races in Asia and the Americas, chairman and CEO Chase Carey said on Monday.
Shaun Torrente says patience will be a key factor as Team Abu Dhabi aim to secure the first of four world powerboat racing titles this season in Poland this weekend.
Championship leader Lewis Hamilton has defended his victory in the British Grand Prix, saying the triumph was down to strategy rather than a favourable Safety Car intervention.
A hashtag, namely #DhoniRetires, recently started trending on social media but soon, it became apparent that it was just another false rumour.
Two-time Grand Slam tennis champion Naomi Osaka posted pictures of protests from Minneapolis on her Instagram account. On Instagram, rising US tennis star Coco Gauff, a 16-year-old African American, showed the faces of black Americans who died in recent years at the hands of authorities or white fellow citizens.
Formula One’s truncated coronavirus-hit season will finally get underway with the Austrian Grand Prix on July 5, the Austrian government announced on Saturday.