Carey expecting F1 to be 'pretty close' to normal in 2021

Formula 1 chief executive Chase Carey expects the sport to be pretty close to "back on the curve"... The post Carey expecting F1 to be 'pretty close' to normal in 2021 appeared first on F1i.com.

Carey expecting F1 to be 'pretty close' to normal in 2021

Formula 1 chief executive Chase Carey expects the sport to be pretty close to "back on the curve" in 2021 and to resume its growth after a year severely disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

F1 announced its second quarter 2020 numbers on Monday, a period which saw revenue crash from $620m to just $24m due to no races taking place during the global lockdown.

As the world hopefully gradually fends off the coronavirus in the coming months and life returns to a semblance of normalcy. Carey is expecting F1 to also come back in line economically.

"We have been clear, we were expecting 2020 to be another significant step forward, and 2021, to continue to be a further step forward," Carey said on a conference call with Wall Street analysts on Monday.

"So we were very much on a trajectory to moving, and it wasn't going to be in 12 months, but moving to delivering the type of growth that got us to a place.

"I think we felt at the beginning of this year, we were on a good track, and we've got a pretty predictable business model.

"So ex the virus, we were very much moving to deliver the type of long-term growth that we had talked about. Obviously, the virus turned it all on its head."

Obviously, only a global return of everyday life to a status quo will allow F1 to resume its trajectory.

"At this point, we're planning on a 2021 that is probably not quite, but pretty close to the 2021 we would have planned," added Carey.

"Now, planning anything in the virus era has obviously got complexities, because we don't know what are going to be the issues in terms of limitations on fan attendance.

"One thing we do believe is that the world has to start to function in the ways we know the world. We do believe 2021 can be pretty close to back on the curve, or on the slope, we had planned for the business.

"But none of us have the visibility we'd like to the virus. I guess, excluding unexpected continuing encumbrances from the pandemic, we expect in 2021 and 2022 to be largely back on the curve we would have been on from sitting at the beginning of this year, with '19 being a year of growth, and '20 being a further year of growth."

Numbers will continue to sink in the upcoming two quarters relative to last year as F1 is unlikely to rake in any race fees from promoters, having waved the rights on a case-by-case basis to get the show back on the road.

However, should fans in some countries be allowed back in the grandstands in the latter part of the season, limited fees from some promoters could flow in.

"The agreements we have this year, this is such a unique year, they're all over the place," admitted F1's CEO.

"The first race we think that has potential for a very small number of fans is probably now Mugello, but increasing on races in the latter part of the schedule. Certainly we hope to have fans at as many as possible.

"In some places, the governments want to get a little closer to the date to determine what the situation is. Our deals, our agreements, vary all over, and in some degree depends on are these long-term partners, or one-off partners?

"So there are a lot of moving parts. Some of them do have variables, but it differs in each place, which is always the case with our with our agreements."

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Hamilton won't 'overlook' Verstappen as title contender

Lewis Hamilton welcomes Max Verstappen and Red Bull's challenge of Mercedes' supremacy, insisting he will not "overlook" the... The post Hamilton won't 'overlook' Verstappen as title contender appeared first on F1i.com.

Hamilton won't 'overlook' Verstappen as title contender

Lewis Hamilton welcomes Max Verstappen and Red Bull's challenge of Mercedes' supremacy, insisting he will not "overlook" the Dutchman as a contender for the title in 2020.

Verstappen trounced the mighty Mercedes squad and its dominant drivers in Sunday's 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone, thanks to Red Bull outsmarting its rival on strategy and its star charger driving a flawless and remarkable race.

So far, the 22-year-old Dutchman has been unable to sustain a season-long challenge, and Mercedes' commanding start to its 2020 campaign pointed to a two-way battle for the title between Hamilton and Bottas.

But Verstappen's masterclass performance at Silverstone last weekend has positioned the Red Bull driver second in the championship, and Hamilton is delighted to have his young rival snapping at his heels.

"I think it's great," he said after Sunday's race. "I want to have races where they're challenging."

"Obviously the Red Bull seems to be quite close in race conditions to us and obviously [they were] stronger [on Sunday] so it shows they don't have as bad a package as perhaps people had said in the past.

"But I think it's good. It will be interesting to see the progression through the rest of the year and I definitely will not overlook them.

"I think we've got to keep a close eye on them and keep working to push forwards because I don't think it's going to be easy by any means," added Hamilton.

"But I don't think my team has that mentality anyway so we just keep our heads down."

In the Red Bull camp, Verstappen says the Honda-powered bulls are still lacking the pace to challenge Mercedes in qualifying while they also need all the stars to line up on race day to snatch a win.

"Yes we can get closer but we are also lacking quite a lot of top speed," Verstappen told Sky F1.

"In qualifying I think it will be very hard to be close to them because once we go to Q2, Q3, they turn it up and they gain like four, five tenths on the straight and it's very hard to fight that.

"But of course in the race they can't really use it as much and then automatically we come a little bit closer to them, and we can sometimes put on a little bit of pressure.

"And then a day like [Sunday] when they're struggling with tyres and we don't have any issues, then of course you can win that race."

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via  and 

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