Formula One is in a very fragile state – McLaren chief executive Zak Brown

McLaren chief executive Zak Brown has warned Formula One is in a "very fragile state" due to coronavirus.

The escalating Covid-19 situation has brought the sport to a halt, with the first eight races of the season postponed or cancelled.

F1 is committed to eventually getting the 2020 season under way, but McLaren chief Brown has warned about the potentially perilous state of the sport.

19 PHOTOS
F1 season 2020
See Gallery
F1 season 2020
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR MCLAREN - McLaren drivers Lando Norris, left, and Carlos Sainz, sit either side of McLaren's new 2020 Formula 1 car, the MCL35, unveiled at the McLaren Technology Centre on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, in Woking, United Kingdom. Press release and full launch media assets available to download at http://www.apmultimedianewsroom.com/multimedia-newsroom/mclaren-reveals-the-mcl35-to-the-world. (Zak Mauger/McLaren via AP Images)
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR MCLAREN - McLaren unveils its 2020 Formula 1 car, the MCL35, at the McLaren Technology Centre on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, in Woking, United Kingdom. Press release and full launch media assets available to download at http://www.apmultimedianewsroom.com/multimedia-newsroom/mclaren-reveals-the-mcl35-to-the-world. (Zak Mauger/McLaren via AP Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 11 2020: Renault F1 Team livery launch with Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon before the 2020 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix- PHOTOGRAPH BY Chris Putnam / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Chris Putnam/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 11 2020: Renault F1 Team livery launch with Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon before the 2020 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix- PHOTOGRAPH BY Chris Putnam / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Chris Putnam/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 10 2020: Renault F1 Team livery launch with Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon before the 2020 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix- PHOTOGRAPH BY Chris Putnam / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Chris Putnam/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 19: Robert Kubica, Tatiana Calderon, Kimi Raikkonen of Finland and Alfa Romeo Racing and Antonio Giovinazzi of Italy and Alfa Romeo Racing unveil the new car during day one of Formula 1 Winter Testing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on February 19, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Eric Alonso/MB Media/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 19: Alfa Romeo Racing unveil their car during day one of Formula 1 Winter Testing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on February 19, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Eric Alonso/MB Media/Getty Images)
Haas French driver Romain Grosjean (R) and Haas Danish driver Kevin Magnussen unveil the VF-20 Formula One car at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Montmelo in the outskirts of Barcelona on February 19, 2020, ahead of the tests for the new Formula One Grand Prix season. (Photo by LLUIS GENE / AFP) (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images)
SALZBURG, AUSTRIA - FEBRUARY 14: General Manager Motorsport Division Honda Hiroshi Shimizu, Operating Officer Honda F1 Katsuhide Moriyama, Daniil Kvyat of Russia and Scuderia AlphaTauri, Red Bull Racing Team Consultant Dr Helmut Marko, Pierre Gasly of France and Scuderia AlphaTauri, Scuderia AlphaTauri Team Principal Franz Tost and Masashi Yamamoto of Honda pose for a photograph during the Scuderia AlphaTauri AT01 Livery launch on February 14, 2020 in Salzburg, Austria. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
SALZBURG, AUSTRIA - FEBRUARY 14: A general view during the Scuderia AlphaTauri launch event at Hangar 7 on February 14, 2020 in Salzburg, Austria. (Photo by Gisela Schober/Getty Images for AlphaTauri)
SALZBURG, AUSTRIA - FEBRUARY 14: The 2020 F1 car "AT01" is on display during the Scuderia AlphaTauri launch event at Hangar 7 on February 14, 2020 in Salzburg, Austria. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for AlphaTauri)
SALZBURG, AUSTRIA - FEBRUARY 14: General view as the Car is revealed during the Scuderia AlphaTauri AT01 Livery launch on February 14, 2020 in Salzburg, Austria. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
SALZBURG, AUSTRIA - FEBRUARY 14: General view as the Car is revealed during the Scuderia AlphaTauri AT01 Livery launch on February 14, 2020 in Salzburg, Austria. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 12: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB16 during the Red Bull Racing RB16 launch at Silverstone Circuit on February 12, 2020 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
The driver's cockpit is pictured of the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team's race car during an event to unveil the team's livery for the 2020 season, during a press event at the Royal Automobile Club in London on February 10, 2020. - Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff said on Monday that his team's tie-up with Lewis Hamilton is the "obvious pairing", with the future of the six-time world champion still unclear on the eve of the new season. "It is the obvious pairing going forward," said Wolff as Mercedes unveiled a five-year partnership with Jim Ratcliffe's chemicals company Ineos in London. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 12: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB16 leaves the garage during the Red Bull Racing RB16 launch at Silverstone Circuit on February 12, 2020 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 12, 2020 - Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow practicing pit stops before the 2020 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix- PHOTOGRAPH BY Chris Putnam / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Chris Putnam/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
16 LECLERC Charles (mco), Scuderia Ferrari SF1000, action during the Formula 1 Winter Tests at Circuit de Barcelona - Catalunya on February 28, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Xavier Bonilla/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
CIRCUIT DE CATALUNYA, MONTMELO, SPAIN - 2020/02/28: Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Scuderia Ferrari SF1000 on track during day six of F1 Winter Testing. (Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

"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," he told BBC Sport.

"In fact, I could see four teams disappearing if this isn't handled the right way.

"And then, given how long it takes to ramp up an F1 team, and given the economic and health crisis we are in right now, to think there would be people lined up to take over those teams like there has historically been... I don't think the timing could be worse from that standpoint.

"So I think F1 is in a very fragile state at the moment."

McLaren became the first F1 team to furlough staff on Wednesday, with remaining employees, including drivers Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz, taking a wage cut.

But the Woking-based team's chief says more changes are required to help the sport through these uncharted waters, including a considerable reduction to the $175million (£143million) budget cap due to come into force in 2021.

Brown told the BBC that all teams have agreed to lower this year's budget to $150m (£122m) but the McLaren boss wants a further drop ahead of a meeting about the state of F1 on Monday.

"You have everyone at $150m, and the strong majority – including one of the big teams – willing to come substantially under $150m," he added.

Read Full Story

FROM OUR PARTNERS