Claire Williams admits getting the 2020 Formula 1 season underway this year is “critical” for the survival of independent teams.

The 2020 F1 season calendar has been decimated by the ongoing coronavirus crisis, with the opening nine races either being postponed or cancelled altogether.

A lack of racing has left F1 and its 10 teams in a vulnerable position due to the loss of revenue and the financial uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 outbreak amid growing concern that the sport could lose as many as four teams.

Championship officials are currently evaluating ways to get the campaign off the ground and remain determined to hold an 18-race season beginning in the European summertime, even if many events have to take place without spectators.

"It is an incredibly difficult environment that Formula 1 finds itself in right now,” Williams told Sky Sports News.

“That is why we have spent so much time locked away in so many team principals' meetings to do everything we need, to make sure all of us come out this, at the end of this year, unscathed.

"A big part of that is when we can go racing again, particularly for a team like ours - one of the few true independents left. We don't have the backing the majority of our competitors have.

"For us, going racing is actually critical this year, but as I have said, only when it's safe to do so.”

The French Grand Prix on June 28 is currently scheduled as the first race to take place, though it is expected the Paul Ricard round will be postponed after the country’s government banned mass public gatherings until mid-July.

In a virtual meeting held last Thursday between team bosses, F1 and the FIA, a plan was formed with the aim of getting the season underway with a behind closed doors Austrian Grand Prix on July 5, followed by multiple races at Silverstone.

Williams said the situation is “not easy” and “incredible worrying”, adding it remains an unknown just how many races could form the eventual 2020 F1 schedule.

“We just don't know whether we will have 15 races, eight races or zero races,” she explained. “Clearly we hope it is more, rather than less.

"I certainly don't envy Chase Carey [F1 chairman] and F1's job at the moment trying to work out how, from an original 22-race schedule, they can put in as many races as they can when we are in the situation we are in.

"We do not know when lockdowns are going to be lifted and even if they are lifted in one country, are they going to be lifted in an another country? How do you move what is in effect an entire sport that comprises an awful lot of people? That is a lot of people crossing borders."

 

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