It’s fair to say, motorsport is in unprecedented times as a result of Coronavirus.
The spread of the virus has forced countries to close their borders and people have had to completely isolate themselves from everything.
With these major measures, naturally it has affected the whole of the motorsport community, from teams and race organisers, to media personnel and fans.
Nobody wants to see races cancelled, but right now safety is paramount and it would be unwise to continue as normal.
Some events are still continuing in various capacities such as the British Touring Car Championship season launch at Silverstone on Tuesday, although public attendance was cancelled.
But, the fact is, motorsport will not and cannot avoid major disruption and it could have a profound affect on multiple aspects of the sport.
The most obvious point to say is that championships will be massively affected and this is simply unavoidable. Whilst many series have pinned their hopes on getting racing underway at some point in the summer, there is still the distinct possibility that all racing will be cancelled for the year.
If that were to happen, there would be huge issues for each series as they look at the financial implications, and teams could be at risk of folding as a result.
Many teams rely on race fees in order to make up their budget, so if there are no races, there’s little income, meaning they could be forced to close their doors.
Circuits will also suffer as they rely on race events to bring in funds from spectator attendance. Again, no races means no income. To highlight the situation, the Circuit of America in Texas has already hinted that the lack of racing this year could potentially force them out of business.
The lack of circuits means less races, less money, and the vicious cycle goes on.
While each series will have contingency plans in place in case a race cannot go ahead, nobody would have been prepared for a situation like this, and whilst the relevant governing bodies will want to make sure everybody is kept safe, they will also be looking at how they can minimise the financial destruction that will inevitably be caused.
Motorsport is a tight knit community, a sector where most people are linked one way or another, either through drivers, sponsors or affiliations, whether it be a direct link or not.
At this moment some teams, businesses and individuals will be hit harder than others, especially freelancers across the motorsport industry.
In a time of real hardship, it’s even more important that people come together and help each other out.
Whilst health and safety is paramount, so is financial well-being, and whilst it shouldn’t be about money, the lack of it will cause even bigger issues for many people who could find themselves without the means to pay their bills.
The only way to survive the issue is by working together, helping and supporting one another. To most, motorsport is a luxury, something they can pick up and drop, whether that is by the decision of whether to watch a race on TV or whether to get a ticket to attend an event.
But for others, it is a necessity. Their livelihood revolves around races taking place. They need to compete in order to get the prize money that puts the food on the table and keeps a roof above their heads. In one way or another everyone in the industry will be affected, but for how long, nobody knows.
Therefore, it is vitally important that regardless of what corner of the industry is struggling, whether they are rivals or not, the whole community works together, to help and support each other so that when this pandemic eventually comes to and end, we can go racing knowing everything has been done to look after each and every person in our community.
If we don’t, the sport will be a much poorer place when activities to eventually return to normality.