F1's total revenues dropped by US$200m this year as the sport grappled with the economic downturn, but it still generated revenues of US$4.6bn, according to research contained in the new edition of Formula Money.

Now in its third year, the annual report on the business of F1, calculates that the source of revenues which were worst hit this season was team owner spending. Indeed it dropped 30 per cent from US$1.6bn to US$1.1bn year-on-year as Honda quit its US$350m annual investment in F1 and the remaining carmakers tightened their belts

Another blow for the teams came from a decline in sponsorship, with their combined sponsorship revenues dropping by 8 per cent from US$836.9m to US$770.75m.

But it hasn't been all bad news for the sport and some areas boomed despite the economic downturn.

The sport's commercial rightsholder, the F1 Group, benefited from an 11 per cent increase in race hosting fees, which rose from US$403.5m to US$448m despite the drop from 18 to 17 races.

This was partly due to the inclusion of Abu Dhabi on the calendar for the first time and it wasn't the only new agreement that the Group benefited from.

Sponsorship of F1 itself grew by an impressive 79 per cent to US$102m as LG and Universal Music came on board and TV rights revenues rose 18 per cent to US$450m partly due to new deals in the UK and Spain.

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