Carlos Sainz Jnr, McLaren, Mugello, 2020

McLaren “braced” for further Covid-19 disruption in 2021 – Brown

2021 F1 season

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McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown expects says the team is anticipating and preparing for further complications arising from Covid-19 during the 2021 F1 season.

The start of this year’s championship was postponed by four months due to the global pandemic. While F1 has now held nine races since the championship began in July, fresh rises in Covid-19 cases in many countries has prompted worries over when normal life will resume.

“I think Covid continuing is a major concern to everybody beyond Formula 1 and McLaren,” Brown admitted. “It’s obviously been financially devastating to the world.”

However Brown is confident any effect Covid may have on the team in 2021 will be much less severe than this year has been.

“I’m anticipating some Covid impact into 2021,” he said. “I don’t personally believe December 31st is going to come and go and on January 1st it’s a new day, it’s behind us.

“So we’re already braced for some Covid impact. Certainly, we hope, not to the level of this year where we stopped racing. But we’ve realised that there could be softness in the marketplace and I think we’re, as McLaren, well prepared and anticipating that.”

As well as delaying the start of its season, Formula 1 made a series of rules changes to drastically reduce teams’ costs for 2020. Brown said the sport may have to make some adjustments again next year.

“At the end of the day if it does rise again, we’ll just have to react accordingly. But I’m confident the industry will do what we did this year which is react as a whole. Because what hurts one F1 team will ultimately hurt all 10 F1 teams.

“So I think we’ll align again if some new actions need to be taken to address the issue again.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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5 comments on “McLaren “braced” for further Covid-19 disruption in 2021 – Brown”

  1. I don’t think the impact is going to be as severe as this year, either. I wonder how much it might affect the race calendar. For example, all temporary tracks became lost for this year, but what about next year with these specific ones? Would the season start later in March (something Chase Carey indirectly implied at one point earlier this year), etc.?

    1. The “good side” of this pandemi is that we have races almost every weekend, which is good for tv viewers 👍

    2. Smart move by McLaren. I believe the impact will be bigger than what most of us think but not in the way of 2020. Probably more of a slow trickle adding up & up of less money coming in every month from the hangover/repercussions effect from Covid impacts. All the little things will start adding up, some loss of sponsors, less luxurious heavy spending on sport cars, heavy associated costs under Covid conditions, factor in down time losses, less hours per day from workers. lower productivity per paid hour, increased inflation and cost of goods.
      Everyone has to tighten their belts to ride this out and it will effect racing from a lot of sides. Plus the big wild card factor that might needing hedging on was all the warnings of Covid potentially coming back really hard in winter. If that happens, then the factor of businesses surviving that as well after this summer could be bad and all the effects from that trickle in making 2021 a hard ride. I hope I’m completely wrong as I very much look forward to a better & healthy 2021 than what we’ve been going through in 2020 and we’re just barely half way..

  2. True. The biggest overreaction in history over a virus less deadly than seasonal flu!

    80-90% of people won’t even know they’ve had it and for those that do its a 99.97% recovery rate.

    All about control.

  3. …hence McLaren are selling their state of the art site with a long term leaseback. Quite common in the commercial world. Releases $$s locked up in real estate to boost cashflow. Wise business move to prepare for an uncertain 2021 & beyond.
    CoVid thrives better in colder climates and the Nthn hemisphere is about to enter another winter season. Also Co-Vid 2 is far more robust than Co-Vid 19, so anyone who thinks ’21 will be easier is kidding themselves.

    Trivia – this Aussie & l-o-n-g time McLaren fan can not wait for ’21. Danny Ric in a Gulf McLaren-Merc.
    At least Andreas & Toto won’t have any language barrier!

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