Formula 1 teams will discuss the possibility of extending the shutdown period by several weeks amid a delayed start to the 2020 season.

The opening eight races of the campaign have been postponed or cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with the season now set to begin with the Canadian Grand Prix on June 14 at the very earliest.

Teams have agreed to bring forward the summer break from its traditional August slot in a bid to free up some time later in the year to reschedule as many affected events as possible when racing can resume.

F1 still hopes to run between 15-18 races and is targeting to start the season “at some point” in the summer. As a result, the 2020 championship could spill over into January next year, just over a month before the 2021 campaign would be due to get underway.

All 10 teams are observing a flexible yet mandatory three-week shutdown period that was scheduled to finish at the end of next month, though talks are set to take place between teams, the FIA, and FOM as to whether the break should be extended further.

The FIA announced on Tuesday that the shutdown has been extended to also cover power unit manufacturers. 

“There will be a discussion during the break weekly, and I can only see it being extended,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner told the BBC.

“I can see it being extended to the end of April, beginning of May and then reviewed again. There will be a discussion among the team principals, FIA and FOM in the next few days.

“It's the only fair way of dealing with it. It’s a competition at the end of the day. What's right and logical at the moment is everybody abide by the same rules and the shutdown, incorporate FIA conditions to it, until the teams are in a position to go back to work.”

The lack of racing has acted as a financial blow for the teams, with concerns over how the impact of a prolonged delay could effect some teams.

“Obviously, we're looking at what the government have communicated,” Horner explained. “All the teams again, all the HR managers between the teams are talking so there is as much consistency as possible.

“It's very positive the teams are communicating in a positive and proactive manner. It reminds me very much of the 2008 financial crisis but this goes way beyond that.”

 

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