Racing Point backs F1 measures to limit costs in the wake of coronavirus

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Racing Point has backed the measures introduced by Formula 1 bosses to help reduce costs due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Currently, the 2020 season is on hold until at least June due to Covid-19, with the first eight races having been either cancelled or postponed.

As the sport tries to put together a new schedule for later in the year, a mandatory three-week factory shutdown has been put into place to take place before the end of April, with most teams using the current lockdown in the UK and other countries to complete it.

"As things currently stand – and it’s important to stress that this is a constantly evolving situation – we’ll be returning to work on Thursday 16 April," said team boss Otmar Szafnauer in a statement released by Racing Point.

"We’ve also worked extremely hard over the last few weeks to ensure that all staff who can work from home have the equipment they need to set up home offices.

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"We’re obviously disappointed not to be able to race for the foreseeable future but, ultimately, we all understand the significance of the situation.

"The challenges the world is currently facing are unlike anything I’ve known in my lifetime and clearly transcend the sport, so the decisions that have been made are the correct ones."

The biggest change that has been agreed in response to the coronavirus is the postponement of next season's planned overhaul of the technical regulations until 2022.

This means a freeze on the current chassis development is also to be put into effect and potentially other parts too, though the Racing Point boss says the scale of the freeze has yet to be decided.

“It will depend on how many races we are going to race this year,” Szafnauer explained.

“If there are no races at all, you’ll have to race next year with the 2020 Melbourne cars with an aero upgrade.”

The aim of these changes is to reduce costs at a time when revenues are being hit dramatically as more races are cancelled.

But for Racing Point, this won't be the first time they've taken similar measures.

“We took an old chassis into the next season three times,” he revealed to Auto Motor und Sport. “And not only that, in the difficult years, the suspension and the gearbox also remained the same.

“If you can take the old chassis, you can save up to a million and a half pounds. If you add the gearbox and crash structures, it can be between three and five million.

“If you push things to the limit, up to 10 million pounds are possible.”

But when it was suggested the top teams might be less open to more restrictions, Szafnauer replied: “Mercedes also benefits when they don’t have to design new parts.

“One rule has to apply to everyone here because if not enough savings are made, the small teams have even more disadvantages.”