Tuesday, January 19, 2021

F1: Claire Williams says 2020 season is ‘critical’ for survival

Williams F1 boss Claire Williams says that races taking place in 2020 is “critical” for independent teams such was Williams Racing.

The COVID-19 pandemic has already seen nine races either postponed or cancelled, with the French GP set to follow.

There are proposals to get the season started but there is a worry that, if the season cannot get underway before October, then the 2020 seaso will need to be abandoned.

Williams team boss Claire Williams, daughter of the legendary team founder Sir Frank Williams, says it’s “critical” that there are races in 2020.

“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 of 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.”

There’s plenty of talk of what kind of season the F1 bosses will be able to put on if and when they’re able to.

However they do it, the likelihood is that the season will be a lot shorter than the 22 races initially intended.

The current proposal would see the season start on July 5 in Austria, with two back-to-back races at Silverstone to follow.

Williams is confident her team will be able to run in those races should they eventually happen.

“It’s not easy,” she said. “It is incredibly worrying at the moment regarding what is going to happen, because the situation is so fluid.

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

“I certainly don’t envy Chase Carey 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 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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