APRIL 7, 2020
Ex-F1 sponsor says real risk teams will fold
A former F1 sponsor says there is "a real risk" that teams will go bust amid the coronavirus crisis.
For years, Finnish billionaire Antti Aarnio-Wihuri supported Valtteri Bottas in Formula 1.
He admitted to Iltalehti newspaper that he is worried about the way the sport - like many other sports and business entities around the world - have shut down.
"I don't know anything about what's going on this year," said Aarnio-Wihuri. "But it looks a lot like there will be no races in 2020."
He said he is also worried about drivers in lower categories, suggesting that it "is quite possible that the careers of some young drivers will end this season".
"This situation has an impact on sponsor funding. There will certainly be effects for motorsport. There is a real risk that a few teams will go down because of this.
"But how many and whether they will be replaced, I can't say anything about it."
Aarnio-Wihuri says he has seen many crises in motor racing before, but "this looks worse than anything else".
"This is a global crisis. In the past it was much more local but now we are all in this situation together."
He said two people among his 5000 staff at the Wihuri Group tested positive for the virus.