Razlan Razali says his Petronas SRT squad is “nearly back to normal financial condition” following the Covid-19 struck 2020 season that forced him to enforce “austerity measures” within the squad.
The ’20 campaign didn’t get underway until the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez in late July as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic that forced all competitive sports to be put on hold, meaning no races were able to go ahead until conditions worldwide improved.
The lack of events taking place throughout the first half of ’20 meant that race organisations were unable to bring in any income, leaving some struggling to survive until competition was able to resume once more with a reduced 14-round calendar.
Speaking to British financial publication SportsPro, Razali says he was forced to conduct “austerity measures” within the Malaysian outfit in order to remain on a sound financial footing-despite receiving early payments from Dorna like its fellow independent teams in order to keep them afloat earlier in the year- during the Covid-enforced downtime.
He added though the squad is now “nearly back to a normal financial condition” following a more regular ’21 campaign that got underway as scheduled in Qatar back in March, Covid-19 now under greater control compared to 12 months prior.
“While 2020 was an incredible year for us, we are mindful that there are always areas where we can improve,” said Razali.
“We had great results, it was good for the team in only our second year. But unfortunately success and more exposure does not always translate into more revenue.
“In some ways, attracting more sponsors does not always convert into more revenue, as it’s still a very tough commercial climate.
“People are still conservative and more cautious in terms of their spending, but we are satisfied at the moment, given the current situation.
“We implemented a series of austerity measures last season because of the coronavirus conditions, and the situation we were in with a number of cancelled races.
“But so far in 2021, as long as the calendar remains as it is, a minimum of 18 to 19 races, I think we are financially robust enough to not impose any kind of austerity measures this year.
“We are nearly back to a normal financial condition.”
Ex-Sepang International Circuit CEO Razali also revealed that he “showed around” a delegation made up of the organisers of the upcoming Indonesian GP, due to be held at the currently under-construction Mandalika street circuit next year, at the last-to-date Malaysian event in ’19 so that they could get a “better understanding” in how to run a grand prix weekend.
The Malaysian is also “confident” his home contest will go ahead as planned in late October, the first such race that he will attend since leaving the position of CEO of the Sepang International Circuit at the end of ‘19, electing instead to focus on his role running the Petronas SRT race team instead.
“During my last year as the CEO of Sepang International Circuit, we received a delegation from the Mandalika International Street Circuit to do a study during the Malaysian MotoGP,” continued Razali.
“We basically showed them around for them to get a better understanding on how to run a round of the MotoGP world championship.
“I think the Mandalika International Circuit is very good for Indonesia, I think it’s great for the championship for MotoGP, and also a tremendous boost for the Southeast Asia region, because as you know, the biggest motorcycle sales in the world are in Southeast Asia.
“I am confident the Malaysian MotoGP will happen this year, there is still a long way to go until October, regardless of whether there will be a crowd or not.
“The Qatar Grand Prix earlier in the year shows that it is possible to have flyway races.”