In the wake of the pandemic, F1 reported a 96 per cent reduction in profits for the second quarter of 2020. Compared to the same quarter last year, the total reduction amounted to a staggering $596 million (from $620 million normally down to just $24 million). This is a reflection of the lost race-hosting fees during that time. The sport’s commercial rights holder Liberty Media commented: “Since there were no events held during the second quarter of 2020, revenue recognition was limited, with recognised primary F1 revenue in the period consisting only of the elements of sponsorship contracts associated with non-race related rights.”
Sebastian Vettel was seen leaving Silverstone in the Ferrari of Racing Point CEO Otmar Szafnauer as speculation continued to link the driver with a 2020 berth at the team, which will be rebranded as Aston Martin. When quizzed Vettel responded playfully: “Yeah, we were going to
the petrol station. It’s a nice car, a Ferrari Pista. I find it a bit awkward nowadays that people make a fuss out of everything. I don’t see the news in that.”
The signing window for the new commercial agreement between the FIA, Liberty and teams – which will define the terms under which the teams enter the championship for the next five years – was due to open on 13th August and close two weeks later. The opening was later amended to 18 August. Mercedes’ Toto Wolff reported at Silverstone that he was not ready to sign under the existing terms offered. F1 countered with the following statement: “Formula 1 has engaged with all teams in a collaborative and constructive way and listened to all their views. This agreement is important for the future of the sport and all our fans. We are moving forward with this and will not be delayed any longer.” The deadline remains at 31 August.
The Red Bull mechanics who replaced Max Verstappen’s damaged suspension on the grid of the Hungarian Grand Prix had completed an all-nighter on Friday-Saturday making wholesale spec changes to the cars. They also completed a sub-2sec pit stop, the fastest of the race.
Ferrari has initiated a technical reorganisation in the wake of its disappointing 2020 form. A new Performance Development Division is in overall charge of all technical matters. Aerodynamics, power unit, chassis and trackside engineering departments will all report to the PDD’s Enrico Cardile, formerly of the aerodynamics department. In announcing this, Ferrari also said it will “count on the experience of Rory Byrne and established engineers such as David Sanchez. This will be the cornerstone of the car’s development.”