Mika Salo

Salo: COVID-19 could delay 2020 driver market

Mika Salo

The silly season could face a delay of its own if Formula 1 races are unable to go ahead, says former driver Mika Salo.

Salo, who commentates for Finnish TV station MTV, expressed his reservations that teams would be willing to commence negotiations for drivers, particularly those in junior formulae, given the inability to assess them first-hand with no races to watch.

“The contracts will have to be signed sooner or later, but currently there is no data on which to base any decision,” he explained.

“So the season of the drivers market can only be postponed to the next few months.

“It certainly won’t start as early as in 2019.”

Further complicating matters, Salo noted that in the event that Formula 2 and Formula 3 are unable to run, prospects might not be able to accrue the necessary superlicense points needed to make them eligible for a jump to the big time.

Drivers hoping to make the step-up need 40 points to acquire a superlicense, all of which can be gained by finishing in the top-three of an F2 season.

As things currently stand, the 2020 F1 and F2 seasons are set to get under way June 5 in Baku, while F3 will start on July 4 in Austria.