joined 19 Jun 11
Posted - 14 Mar 2020 : 10:46:22
Haas F1 team is in the 5th year of a 5 year plan and contemplating closing at the end of the year.
With Corona Virus cancelling events of unknown number and therefore reducing income, but with little reduction in costs, it may be a good time to cancel production of a 2021 car.
Clare Williams says that wages are a major cost, so it would be so for Haas.
If the decision is made to not continue, then the staff costs and expenditure on a new car, can provide significant financial benefit.
They are locked into 2020, but they already have all they need for this year.
Maybe that near-mythical Russian Team will buy them out, instead of buying shares in Williams, a public company, I think.
Gene Haas has admitted that 2020 could be his team's last season in Formula 1.
This year is the American team's fifth season on the grid, but owner Gene Haas indicated prior to the Australian GP cancellation that he is undecided about whether to sign the new Concorde Agreement.
"I'll wait and see how things develop from the start of the season," Haas is quoted by DPA news agency.
"If we had another bad year, it wouldn't be so beneficial to stay."
He indicated that he was always scheduled to take stock after an initial five years.
"We'll have to evaluate it then," said the American. "Doing this again for five years would be a big commitment."
Haas said the team's performance slump in 2019 was a "real educational process".
"I have confidence that we have learned from it," he added.
Haas said the current income distribution model in Formula 1 makes it very difficult for the smaller teams.
"70 percent of the money goes to the top three teams, and 30 percent to the other seven. That is not a good economic model," he said.
Claire Williams is worried about the financial impact of F1's new coronavirus crisis.
Australia and China have been called off, but Bahrain and Vietnam will soon follow suit and most insiders doubt there will be a single race until June.
If that happens, it will hurt F1's smallest and least successful teams like Williams the most as they rely on the sport's official revenue pot.
"It would mean less money for us," she said in Melbourne when asked what race cancellations would mean.
"We need to check with Formula One Management about the insurance for cancelled races."
Williams said it would be "incredibly difficult" for the team to continue as normal if for instance a confirmed coronavirus case meant the factory back at Grove had to close.
"We also need to look at how cancelling races will affect us in terms of the prize pool. If it decreases, then it would be difficult for us to cope with that. So we have to hope that doesn't happen," said the deputy boss.
She denied that cancelled races would actually save money for Williams in the form of the expensive travel costs.
"But we still need to pay salaries," said Williams. "Some costs decrease but for most teams, salary costs are the largest part of our monthly expenses."
As for the crisis' impact on the Formula 1 industry altogether, she said: "It is an incredibly difficult situation for any business in any industry to deal with."