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Formula 1 revenue rises by $140 million in first quarter of 2021

2021 F1 season

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Formula 1 reported a significant increase in revenue year-on-year for the first quarter of 2021 as the sport continues its financial recovery from the impact of the pandemic.

No races were held in the first three months of last year following the cancellation of the Australian Grand Prix. F1’s revenues therefore plunged from $246 million over the same period in 2019 to just $39 million in 2020.

The sport went some way towards regaining its previous earnings this year, posting revenue of $180 million for the first three months of this year. The sport reported a loss of $33 million for the period, down from $137 million the year before.

Just one race, the Bahrain Grand Prix, was held during that time. Restrictions on fans and corporate guests attending races remains an obstacle to F1 returning to pre-pandemic levels of income. A small number of fans were able to attend the season-opening race providing they had been vaccinated against Covid-19 or recovered from it.

After two races behind closed doors, a limited number of fans may attend the Sunday of this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, and more will be allowed at the following race in Monaco. The sixth round of the championship in Azerbaijan, however, will officially be closed to spectators.

“While decisions are pending for most events, Formula 1 expects fans to be in attendance in varying capacities at certain events in the first half of the 2021 season, with increasing numbers of fans at events as the season progresses,” the series said in a statement.

Formula 1 highlighted several major deals completed in the last three months, including the long-awaited announcement of a new race in Miami, which is due to run for at least 10 years. The contracts for the Japanese and Canadian grands prix have also been extended, the latter by two years in order to replace the pair of races lost due to the pandemic. Its official logistics partner DHL has also extended its sponsorship deal.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 2 comments on “Formula 1 revenue rises by $140 million in first quarter of 2021”

    1. So, F1 really needs a close fight this year to recover from the economics impact caused by pandemic. Interesting.

      1. If this is a subtle nod to a theory that Merc were deliberately slowed down to create an interesting fight, then I can’t agree with you. It was a change made for safety following the punctures at Silverstone. I don’t think there’s anything else to it personally. If they hadn’t made this change, and Merc (or Aston Moantin) kept suffering punctures, they’d still be complaining about how the rules weren’t changed to prevent this.

        In terms of them ‘needing a close title fight’, I don’t think this is quite true. They were always going to make more money than last year because of the different global situations, and were always more likely to make a loss considering there was only one race in those 3 months. This is pretty much what I’d expect to see from their revenue figures (I’m not an economist though so please correct me if I’m wrong)

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