Hyderabad, NFAPost: With the Covid-19 wrecking havoc on the economy, sports too has seen a steep fall in its economics. The cash-rich Formula One is also affected by the pandemic, posting an 84% year-on-year drop in net profit in the first quarter, at $39m (€36m), down from $246m a year ago.
The Liberty Media-owned motor racing series reported an operating loss of $137m, compared to $47m in the same period last year. The company’s share price has lost almost 33% of its value since the start of the year.
Major costs incurred during the first quarter included freight, travel and technical costs relating to the Australian Grand Prix, which was cancelled on the eve of the event.
Chase Carey, F1 chairman and CEO, told investors that the series may run races at new venues in an attempt to save the Covid-19-blighted season, but also admitted that all scenarios are on the table “including the remote possibility of no racing in 2020”.
New venues which are reportedly being considered are Portimão in Portugal and Imola in Italy, venue of the San Marino Grand Prix.
“We’re in discussion with all of our promoters as well as some tracks that are not currently on our 2020 calendar to ensure we explore all options,” Carey said, in a statement.
He added: “We are moving forward with our 2020 plans, while working to strengthen the long term future of Formula 1 through new technical, sporting and financial regulations that will further improve the competition and action on the track and make it a healthier business for all involved.”
The season is scheduled to start in Austria on July 5 behind closed doors, with Silverstone, the home of the British Grand Prix, tipped for back-to-back events on July 19 and 26.
F1 is also looking toward a more restrictive cost cap on teams to control expenses.