'Less races means less prize money' was the clear message to come from Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey during a media conference call on Thursday afternoon.
Carey has said that the prize fund will be lower for the 2020 season due to the likely possibility of a calendar featuring less races than originally planned.
"The prize fund is a contractual formula, so the prize fund is what it is," said Carey. "We realistically can't - we could unilaterally change it if we chose, so the question, which is guess was 'would we do something' and I guess, to expand on that, it's a percentage of profits and profits will be down. It means the prize fund will be down."
"The question is, 'would we do something to help certain teams?'," added Carey. "Again, we're not in the business of handouts, but that being said, I think we'll engage with all our partners and figure out a way that we go forward that makes sense for everybody.
"But the prize fund itself is defined by a contract that is a percentage of the OIBDA [Operating income before depreciation and amortization]. As we know what that is, I don't think we really move to the next level until we know what that OIBDA is.
"Obviously, we still have a lot of moving parts. As I said before, we haven't settled a calendar, we don't know how many fans have races so, at this point, we have a wide range of potential outcomes on the ultimate prize fund.
"When we have a better handle on that, we'll see where we are and see if it's appropriate or right for us to do anything, whether it's with a team or with any of our other partners."
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