F1 considers new locations as first quarter revenue falls

LONDON: Formula One could compete on circuits that are not on the current schedule, as it seeks to accelerate a 2020 season stagnant by the COVID-19 pandemic and in a context of falling incomes.

Liberty Media-owned sports reported first-quarter revenue of $ 39 million on Thursday, compared to $ 246 million in the same period last year, and there are also no races scheduled for the second quarter.

The sport recently received a net cash payment of $ 1.4 billion, however, in an asset swap with Sirius XM from Liberty to increase liquidity.

CEO and President Chase Carey He told analysts in a conference call that he was increasingly confident that there would be a 2020 season, with plans to start in Austria in early July.

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However, the American recognized the remote possibility of not participating in races, but said that the sport had the resources to overcome that eventuality.

The season has canceled or postponed 10 races since March, but is now studying several European circuits hosting two races each with no spectators, with the August holiday canceled.

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The latest planning is for a 15-18 racing season, compared to an original schedule of 22, to end in Abu Dhabi in mid-December, but Carey said it could be extended until January.

We are in talks with all of our promoters, along with some leads that are not currently on our 2020 calendar to ensure that we explore all options, he added.

Hockenheim could be one of those circuits, with Germany dwindling coronavirus restrictions and green light for Bundesliga soccer clubs to resume play in empty stadiums on May 16.

Imola in Italy and the Algarve circuit in Portugal in Portimao have also been mentioned in the media, as has the possibility of a return to Malaysia.

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Motorcycling's MotoGP series is planning to hold two races in July in southern Spain at the Jerez circuit that has previously been used for Formula One racing and testing.

Carey suggested 2021 would see the sport return to its previous growth curve. Formula One gets most of its revenues from race hosting fees, broadcast deals and sponsorship.

I think the fans will be back, I think events like ours will continue to increase in strength, he said.

He suggested that there might even be some new races scheduled, with Miami already in the frame.

Our goal is to make 2021 look like the 2021 we planned for January, he said.

Ultimately, we have to go through renovations, and we have some ongoing discussions with a couple of new careers that we think would be a positive improvement for fans and business shareholders.

Carey said that negotiations on a new Concorde Agreement between the commercial rights holder, who rules the FIA ​​and the teams, and that the current one will expire at the end of the year, have been delayed due to the crisis.

Other unspecified initiatives have also been deferred.