Bernie Ecclestone has underlined that no area of motorsport will be immune from the current credit crunch sweeping the globe, and has called for all involved to show patience in order to ride out the bitter financial storm.
Honda withdrawing from Formula 1 and Subaru and Suzuki both doing likewise from the World Rally Championship at the end of last year have so far been the most obvious examples that the sport is beginning to feel the full force of the economic downturn.
Cost-cutting is in place virtually across the board – with Renault F1 having made a number of redundancies from its Enstone factory this week – race promoters are reporting significant losses and both manufacturers and sponsors are refusing to commit for the long-term, much to Ecclestone's irritation.
When it was suggested to the sport's commercial rights-holder that he introduce measures to lower the prices of tickets for races and reduce fees for those grands prix that are struggling to break even, the 78-year-old insisted that promoters set their own ticket costs and that sales remain strong, adding that the current crisis 'affects everyone and everyone is going to suffer'.
“We have many sponsors and we believe that the other teams will continue,” Ecclestone told Spanish newspaper AS
on a visit to Valencia. “Nobody knows how it is going to turn out, so we should probably all be patient.”