F1 taking consequences of soaring freight costs “really seriously”

2022 Australian Grand Prix

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The soaring cost of transporting freight around the world will hit all Formula 1 teams equally, Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has said.

F1 teams send up to 50 tons of freight worldwide per year. However shipping costs rose sharply last year due to the pandemic, while British teams faced added complications due to the country’s withdrawal from the European Union.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year has further contributed to rising costs of transportation. This presents an added challenge for teams, whose spending is restricted by F1’s budget cap.

“It’s going up and every time you speak about it, it’s getting higher,” said Steiner in response to a question from RaceFans. “So at some stage we need to get into real numbers.

“Obviously these things you just have to manage as they come along. Everybody is faced with the same issue so I think it’s a problem for everybody. Nobody’s got a disadvantage as long as everybody gets the increase, which everybody does.

“We just have to deal with it and then see how you can navigate to get to the end of the season with the budget intact and in a place where you want it to be.”

F1 is not being complacent about the threat of rising freight costs, said Steiner. “I think F1 takes it seriously but it’s one of these scenarios you cannot really control,” he said.

“We all know that it’s difficult now, especially with the invasion of Ukraine, I think there’s a lot of cargo planes out of service now because of the sanctions to Russian companies, because they were running or flying a lot of the cargo planes. So it’s not getting any easier. And also the ships, we now know that that there is difficulties there.

“I think F1 is taking it really seriously. It’s just one of these things which are out of control, as long as you don’t [have] your own planes you are always counting on other people to help you out. So hopefully we can get through it and they put a lot of effort in. But I think in the moment nobody’s got a guarantee of anything getting at the right place in the right time.”

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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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22 comments on “F1 taking consequences of soaring freight costs “really seriously””

  1. So who knew, the one thing that might finally see the calendar follow a more logical regional pattern may turn out to be international shipping costs.
    Now will they genuinely attempt to cut costs, or pass on the additional costs to promoters?

    1. @eurobrun Good point & something plausible I hadn’t thought about before.

      1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
        7th April 2022, 17:42

        F1 has plenty of money. Its not soaring freight costs they are worried about, its that profits are not soaring as high as they would like.

        The true cost is the amount of carbon put into the atmosphere.

        1. Since when anyone knows what Co2 do and do not to atmosphere…?

          1. The Dolphins
            7th April 2022, 20:38

            I can’t tell if there was something lost in translation or if you genuinely are a greenhouse gas denier.

    2. Rationalizing the calendar to take some account of emissions would be a great idea. It makes no sense to force the teams to use ethanol while jacking up the calendar to 23-24 races zig-zagging all over the globe when race car emissions are a tiny fraction of the sport’s carbon footprint. I’m sure that adding two races more than wipes out the marginal benefit of running 10 percent ethanol in the race cars.

  2. Several years ago I knew the father of the person who was in charge of McLaren’s catering (she ran the business alongside Ron Dennis I believe).
    I was told a story that they had to cater for pretty much anything somebody asked for, so for every single race, a four pack of baked beans was put in the hold together with all the more interesting choices.
    Nobody ever asked for beans on toast.
    They were probably the most travelled Heinz products in the world, much to the disgust of the logistics department!

    1. People eat baked beans on toast? (Other than as an incidental event in an “English fry-up”)

      1. @dmw wait… people don’t eat baked beans on toast??

  3. And yet Haas transported Micks broken chassis to Australia and back to Europe

    1. Yes but that isn’t Haas’ decision, FOM I think manage and organise the shipping and freight costs for racing activities, the teams manage it themselves for facility / non racing equipment etc.

      1. Why not expedite things? It would cost more. Does not make sense but it is cheaper. Of course the chassis was damaged, only 33g peak but the cars are so heavy that 33g of a far greater mass than in the past means damage to that chassis is a given.

    2. Thanks too custom rules everything had to declared into Austrialia but the car must return to england for repairs. So after that they send the spare to Austrialia which costs a lot!

  4. Costs are one thing. But then any problem during trips might affect the schedule like it did for MotoGP last weekend. That’s also a consideration. A plane that’s stuck somewhere, unable to continue, might force a complete reschedule of the weekend activity and even put it in danger of even happening, because there just isn’t enough planes (and crew and so on) available these days.

    1. That was why Haas was given additional time at the second pre-season test.
      Somehow, something got missed and didn’t arrive at the test in time.
      Possibly the first rescheduling for this season.

  5. G (@unklegsif)
    7th April 2022, 14:14

    Am I missing something here – shipping and freight aren’t included in the budget cap (as they are non performance related). Not only that, but its organised by FOM isn’t it?
    So it will only affect the overall revenue of the sport (and therefore the prize funds for the teams)


  6. Time to think twice before making an absurd calendar with constant end-to-end of the world travel, then

    1. That’s too logical of a thinking, I imagine it will be rather “Time to ask more money from the organisers next time they want their spot at the same date every year.”

  7. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
    7th April 2022, 16:36

    Elsewhere I have read the following:-

    “There is almost a bidding war now,” Fowler explained. “Rates from Europe to Asia to Europe that were pitching at about [US] $900 a container is now about $20,000.”

    “All teams have five sets of kit, and that is stretching to six, because of the extra races.”

    “So the stuff you see in the garages, on the walls, the pitlane gantries, the perches that the team personnel sit on, is all sea freighted in.”

  8. I hope they used local Lego for the full-sized Lego McLaren (in the Thursday build-up photos, and surely the next caption competition)…
    Otherwise it would have been cheaper to build a team of lifesize Lego men and buy them seats on the plane.

  9. Get rid of the dictatorships including Hungary and have all the races in Europe and N. America.

  10. How about the drivers taking let’s say, a 25% cut, they would still be making millions. They won’t starve.

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