PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team (SRT) have allowed some of their sponsors to delay payments to the team but admitted that the ‘force majeure’ clause in future contracts will have to be redefined.
SRT team principal Datuk Razlan Razali disclosed that their sponsors are still with the team for now despite the Covid-19 pandemic threatening to completely wipe out the MotoGP season.
“At the moment, none of our sponsors have pulled out and we are grateful that they are still with us,” said Razlan.
“However, we have a few small technical sponsors in Europe, who are dealing in retail (business), and they have been forced to shut down for the last one month.
“Some of them have asked for flexibility to delay their progress payments, which is fine by us.”
Razlan added that the team have learned a lot from what has happened and will look to safeguard themselves against any possibilities in the future.
“Nobody has ever experienced anything like this (pandemic) before,” added Razlan.
“We all know that sponsorship and financial planning are key, but even in a worst-case scenario (prior to this), you would never plan for something like this (pandemic).
“You would never plan for what would happen if the season was halved or completely cancelled. This (pandemic) has never happened before in the sporting world, even the Olympics has been postponed by a year.
“(Motorsports is) just like any other businesses that depend on good economy (to survive). If the economy goes south, the business can go bust.
“It’s the same thing for motorsports. But motorsports will close shop even faster (than conventional businesses).
“However, what we have learned from this is that you need to specify in your contracts what is the definition of force majeure. This is something that we will sit down and really look at.”
Razlan also commended MotoGP rights holders, Dorna, who have stepped in with advanced payments to teams on the MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 grids to help ease their financial burden.
“Yes, Dorna have provided some financial assistance. It is an advance that we receive (each season),” added Razlan.
“It is a sharing of income similar to what is done in Formula One.
“It is good that Dorna have given this to teams in advance even when there are no races. It shows that they understand and are reactive to the situation.” Fadhli Ishak