In Brief

F1: ‘four teams could disappear’, warns McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown

Ron Dennis launches initiative to provide one million free meals to NHS workers

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown has issued a warning over Formula 1’s future amid the coronavirus crisis.

As things stand the opening eight races of the 2020 season have been cancelled or postponed and the next event on the schedule is the Canadian Grand Prix on 14 June. However, Montreal is also a major doubt because of the pandemic. 

BBC Sport reports that F1 bosses will today discuss cost-saving plans. With teams and drivers under lockdown Brown believes that F1 is in a “very fragile state” and he has urged for major measures to be taken to help the sport survive the crisis. 

He told the BBC: “This is potentially devastating to teams, and if [it is devastating] to enough teams - which doesn’t have to mean more than two - then very threatening to F1 as a whole. 

“Could I see - through what is going on right now in the world if we don’t tackle this situation head on very aggressively - two teams disappearing? Yeah. 

“In fact, I could see four teams disappearing if this isn’t handled the right way. And then, given how long it takes to ramp up an F1 team, and given the economic and health crisis we are in right now, to think there would be people lined up to take over those teams like there has historically been... I don’t think the timing could be worse from that standpoint. 

“So I think F1 is in a very fragile state at the moment.”

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Dennis launches NHS meal initiative 

Independent reports that former McLaren boss Ron Dennis has helped to launch an initiative to provide one million free meals to NHS workers.

The Dennis family is donating £1m through their charity foundation Dreamchasing, alongside £500,000 in match-funding.

Speaking about the SalutetheNHS.org scheme, Dennis said: “This is a time when all of us, individuals and businesses alike, need to stand up and be counted in the effort to combat Covid-19. 

“We’re all in this together. I am delighted to be leading this initiative to help ensure that vital NHS workers have nutritious meals while they work every hour in this fight. It means they have one less thing to worry about. 

“We have called this SalutetheNHS.org because I think we are all in awe of the work they are doing to save lives.”

Sochi preparing for September GP

Organisers of the Russian Grand Prix will continue their preparations for the September event despite the F1 2020 season not yet starting. 

Sochi Autodrom will host the Russian GP on Sunday 27 September and Alexey Titov, the CEO of race promoters Rosgonki, told the Tass news agency: “We carefully monitor the development of events, listening to the recommendations and instructions of government bodies and experts and remaining in constant contact with representatives of Formula 1. 

“The circuit is now closed, with only maintenance crews at the facility. But for now we continue to prepare for the grand prix.”

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