Christian Horner believes F1 owners would step in financially to protect teams

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes the owners of Formula One would step in with financial bailouts to prevent any marque from going out of business.

The coronavirus pandemic has already led to the postponement or cancellation of nine grands prix this year, and the shortfall in income generated by race fees has led to speculation some teams could go under.

Formula One operates with 10 teams so even losing a couple would be regarded as a significant shock, according to Horner, who has backed Liberty Media to act in the sport’s best interests if no races go ahead this season.

“It could be an enormous blow and at that point the promoter has to decide,” he told The Guardian. “It is their business, they have to decide how do they keep these teams alive because they need teams to go racing.

“The Liberty guys would do whatever they can to ensure that 10 teams are on the grid and competing next year.

“In order to protect their own business I believe they would help to facilitate, which means paying, to ensure that those teams would be around to compete next year.”

F1’s attempt to impose a lower budget cap has proved a thorny issue, with Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari spending more than double annually the 175million US dollars (£139.8m) that will come into force in 2021.

“Teams are competitive beasts, of course they are looking to use an angle,” Horner added.

“The cap is a discussion about competitiveness, not about money. It’s about trying to bring the top teams down to a level where the midfield teams feel they can compete.

“The reality is that whatever the level of spend there will always be teams that run at the front and teams that run at the back.”