Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri says Formula 1’s “drastic” loss of revenue amid the coronavirus crisis is hurting its finances in “the harshest manner”.

The company reported a 30% decrease in income throughout the first quarter of 2020, which has been largely affected by a hiatus to racing due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2020 F1 season is currently on hold with the opening 10 races either postponed or cancelled. Championship officials still hope to stage up to 18 events and are targeting getting the campaign off the ground with a series of behind closed doors races beginning with the Austrian Grand Prix on July 5.

And the suspension to racing has hit Ferrari’s finances hard, with the Scuderia announcing on Monday that its first quarter results of sponsorship, commercial and brand revenue was down €39million compared to the same period last year.

“Formula 1 is undoubtedly the activity that will adversely affect our results in 2020 in the harshest manner,” Camilleri said during a conference call with investors.

“It is also the one that is by far the hardest to predict. The original calendar provided for 22 races. The FIA and the Formula One Group now predict a maximum of 18 races, many without fans.

“This clearly implies a drastic reduction in the revenues that are generated by the commercial rights holder, as well as sponsorship fees: our two primary sources of revenue.

“The hit to revenue essentially goes down to the bottom line, with some minor offsets. It’s a big hit. The good news is it’s confined to this year, hopefully.”

F1 has implemented a number of cost-saving measures in a bid to ease the financial strain on teams during the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus crisis.

Teams have agreed to postpone a technical regulation overhaul - originally planned for 2021 - by a year until 2022 and subsequently carry over their current cars into next season with certain components being frozen, while agreement has also been struck to slash the 2021 budget cap from $175m to $145m.

“There has been significant progress on numerous measures to freeze various components and hence reduce costs going forward,” Camilleri explained.

“[There has also been] substantial progress on a cost ceiling and its perimeter effective as of 2021, which will hopefully be put to bed in the near future.

“It remains our hope that such ceiling will render Formula 1 more economically sustainable for all participants while ensuring that it remains the premier racing championship globally and the source of significant advances in automotive innovation and technology.”

 

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