F1 extends factory shutdown to five weeks

The 2021, now 2022 regulation changes explained (1:42)

Laurence Edmondson breaks down the refreshed regulations for the F1 car designs to be implemented in 2022. (1:42)

Formula One's 10 teams have agreed to extend their sport-wide factory shutdown by another two weeks as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

In order to save costs and free up potential race weekends in August, the teams had already agreed to move the traditional two-week August shutdown forward and extend it to three weeks. In addition to the original agreement, and with the potential to extend the shutdown further at a later date, F1, its teams and the FIA World Motor Sport Council agreed to extend the agreement from 21 days to 35 days of shutdown, to be taken in March, April and/or May. The agreement applies to both race teams and engine manufactures.

All of F1's 10 teams are based in Europe and own factories in countries where government-mandated shutdown is already in place. The only exception is engine manufacturer Honda, which is partly based in Japan where measures are not as strict.

Three F1 teams - McLaren, Racing Point and Williams -- as well as F1 itself announced in recent days that they had placed some workers on furlough in order to take advantage of the U.K. government's job-protection schemes. Some senior staff and the drivers of the three teams have also taken voluntary pay cuts.

There is no start date for the 2020 season, but F1 is aiming to cram as many races as possible into a newly-drafted calendar when as soon as it is safe to go racing again. The first eight races of the original calendar have already been postponed or cancelled, with the Canadian Grand Prix set to make a postponement announcement later today.

It is possible the factory shutdown will be extended further if a return to racing looks unlikely by the end of May. F1 has already delayed its 2021 rule changes to 2022, with the prospect of a further delay to 2023 being discussed among teams. F1 teams are also banned from aerodynamic work on the new regulations until the end of this year.