F1’s income rises to $197 million in third quarter of 2023

Formula 1

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Formula 1 has reported an increased revenue of $197 million (£159m) for the third quarter of 2023, during which it held eight grands prix.

The series’ income rose by 24% compared to the same period last year, when seven rounds were held.

Liberty Media’s Formula 1 Group reported total revenue of $887m for the third quarter of this year, versus $715m for the same period in 2022.

As well as holding an extra race compared to the year before, F1 said its rise in income was also the result of “increased fees under new and renewed contractual agreements and continued growth in F1 TV subscription revenue.”

New sponsors agreements also added more to F1’s bottom line. F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said the series’ recent sponsorship agreement with American Express showed it is continuing to deliver encouraging growth figures.

“Formula 1 continues to experience sell-out crowds, record race attendance and strong growth across our social and digital platforms, outpacing that of other major sports leagues,” said Domenicali. “This growth is attracting commercial partners, including our recent agreement with American Express that marks the first new sports vertical they have sponsored in over a decade.”

The series paid out a total of $432m to F1’s 10 teams. This increase compared to last year was partly due to the higher number of races and partly due to “an expectation of increased team payments for the full year,” said F1.

F1 bore other additional costs in the third quarter of this year compared to last year in preparation for the new Las Vegas Grand Prix, which accounted for $8 million of spending, and the new F1 Academy series.

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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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16 comments on “F1’s income rises to $197 million in third quarter of 2023”

  1. The Verstappen effect for sure.

  2. “Formula 1 continues to experience sell-out crowds, record race attendance and strong growth across our social and digital platforms, outpacing that of other major sports leagues,” said Domenicali. “This growth is attracting commercial partners, including our recent agreement with American Express that marks the first new sports vertical they have sponsored in over a decade.”

    … but one more team might lead to the total and utter collapse of the sport.

    Wait, what?

  3. I’m somewhat bemused when I visit kart clubs, many of which played a crucial role in kickstarting the careers of several Formula 1 drivers, only to find them struggling. Whether it be with pure entry numbers or facilities. Not all, but enough. These clubs have been instrumental in shaping drivers who now hold immense value for entities like Liberty, yet they receive nothing in terms of grassroots funding. In contrast to other sports, which often have funding schemes in place, the disparity in support is striking.

    I know Bottas sold his car to help his club which is admirable. Schumacher did a lot of Kerpen etc… but other than that it’s incredible to think how little support the small clubs get considering the revenue being generated.

    Personally, I actually strongly believe that F1 should have minimal involvement with karting as, in my opinion, it negatively affects the karting scene. I think it’s influence has really annihilated some of the best aspects of the sport, nonetheless, if I put my pragmatic hat on for a moment, it’s perplexing how these discrepancies in revenue generation and investment in club karting are not discussed more.

      1. They FIA don’t do a particularly good job with karting but Liberty Media are by far the biggest beneficiaries in terms of finance. Yet the very clubs that provide almost the entire grid with the opportunity to start racing get almost no investment or care. Now personally I actually don’t mind as I think F1 is terrible for karting, but when I look at how the way karting has positioned itself (mistakenly) as the feeder to cars and eventually F1, it’s amazing there isn’t more discussion about the lack of financial support when F1 is generating such revenue. It’s remarkable to think that volunteer clubs in the middle of the British countryside, that run all year round, have done so much for people like Hamilton, Norris, Russell etc…. and get almost no recognition.

        Too see how much money Liberty is generating how little it re-invests back into the sport, it’s remarkable really. It’s almost all take take take.

        1. I mean, Liberty has already paid out a little under half a billion US dollars to the teams that help generate the revenue and the FIA also nets a fair share of the profits as an officiant body . So I’d argue as far as Liberty ‘investing back into the sport’, they’re doing more than enough and we haven’t even touched on it’s latest venture with F1A.

          I too agree having F1 meddle with karting would hurt it but I also believe it is not Liberty’s responsibility to prop up or even help sustain the karting scene. If you want to point a finger at some entity: It’s the FIA. The governing body that oversees the entire spectrum, it’s why MBS’ FIA presidential campaign/manifesto was “FIA for Members”. I believe your qualm is with the entity who is collecting millions of pounds/dollars and seemingly not appropriating it correctly or efficiently.
          Also the likes of Hamilton, Norris, Russell paid to kart, it’s not like the volunteer clubs in the middle of the British countryside were offering free rides and the aforementioned drivers took advantage and sucked them dry like a parasite then moved on leaving a malnourished dilapidated karting scene. The symbiotic relationship you desire for karting is with the governing body not the talent it produces. I don’t owe my teachers anything for the person I am today or the knowledge they bestowed upon me even if they were and still continue to be underpaid and even if I am both grateful and thankful. The local and state government on the other hand, are beholden to those teachers. I hope this analogy makes some sense.

          So yea, F1 is generating a lot of revenue but it is also sharing it and it is up to the beneficiaries of said revenue to do as they please with it. Teams can support and sign upcoming talent while ramping up efforts to give back the local scene and the FIA can subsidize or even improve the state of the various karting paradigms it governs.

          1. Liberty disturbing to the teams isn’t investing ‘back into the sport’ the same way the Premier League distributing funds back to Premier League teams isn’t investing back into football.

            While the FIA has responsibility, like I have said there’s many issues there, there is no doubt that Liberty Media heavily rely upon karting as its fundamental supply source for drivers. And Liberty are making huge amounts of money off of these drivers while doing nothing in return.

            Teams signing drivers doesn’t support karting by the way, it just inflates costs for everyone competing against them.

            F1 Academy is Liberty investing millions into 15 drivers. I am talking about investing millions to help literally thousands of drivers and hundreds of clubs. Since 2000 the Premier League has invested £380,000,000 via the Football Foundation investing in Grassroots Facilities. So I don’t buy the ‘it’s the governing body’s’ responsibility when other commercial owners do ‘give back’.

            I do have cognitive dissonance over this as I sway towards the side of F1 being as far away from karting as possible, but I find it weird how this kind of thing is overlooked when other major championships do have schemes that invest huge sums of money. F1 is take take take. I think it’s time we started to raise some questions.

          2. again, it is not Liberty’s responsibility to throw millions at karting. it simply isn’t even if other commercial owners do ‘give back’. Liberty’s responsibility is F1 and they seem to be doing fine tending to it especially since the takeover.

            your comparison to football is I think, a bit mismatched.
            If the Premier league stops ‘giving back’, there will be sizeable repercussions as you can draw a clear and direct line from grassroots to them also not to mention the significantly easier barrier of entry for football. you just need a ball, that’s it. That’s why a lot of player’s origin stories are just them playing with ball before anything else but i digress.
            As it stands currently, Liberty isn’t throwing millions at karting and it seems to be doing fine, excellent even considering the litany of junior drivers waiting in line for a seat. I mean even when you were trying to paint the picture of Liberty’s reliance on karting, you could only make claim to a fundamental supply but not all of it. Arguably, it’s the likes of F2, F3, FRECA, etc. that supplies F1. Attributing it to karts would be like attributing primary schools as a corollary to F1’s driver supply: Like sure it’s not untrue, but it’s not it’s not as though it goes: primary school -> F1 in the same way it isn’t karting -> f1. Especially when in F1 you can just skip karting if you have the wherewithal and means. Kind of like how you can skip primary school too!.
            I hate to say it but if karting dies, the kids/adults will just jump straight into higher powered open wheel single seaters and championships often already funded by you guessed it, the F1 teams or entities close enough to F1 or they’ll just ebb and flow via other motorsport disciplines.

            Also, side note, F1A is both Liberty and the teams investing millions because to jump start the opportunities of female open wheel talent. Something karting hasn’t done in its entire existence but that’s another topic of discussion. For now, I take issue with the framing of investing millions in 15 drivers – those millions so far appear to be well earned and rather well spent especially in contrast to how the W series ended. Let them cook please.

            You seem rightfully upset at the current state of karting but it feels like you want to direct the entirety of your ire at F1. That doesn’t seem fair considering there is a far more credible all-encompassing entity to blame, but also, you don’t even want F1 there but also, karting feeds other motorsports disciplines. If WEC was raking in a few hundred millions would you start making comments about how WEC is take take take because they don’t “give back”? The FIA has responsibility full stop, F1’s theoretical involvement in karting should be supplementary at best, never a responsibility and even then it should be through teams like how they’re morphing F1A.

            If “Liberty Media heavily rely upon karting as its fundamental supply source for drivers” like you claim then what does the governing body that literally dictates SL points and has established karting as the cornerstone of a prospective driver’s journey to F1 rely on? Why exactly is it Liberty’s responsibility to save your local karting scene and not the FIA that has far far more influence and established reach than Liberty? Why is this not the question you’re raising?
            MBS has been president since the end of 2021 and his acclaimed FIA for members manifesto has yet to be realized. The website is dead and just recently, the rumor is that a prominent longstanding FIA member mysteriously and unceremoniously retired and MBS’ administration has been tight lipped. Seriously, take a good hard look at MBS’ tenure as FIA president so far before you had wave the FIA’s responsibility to go after F1. F1 is and has paid its dues. Look at at the fights MBS is picking and the fruits of his efforts and the decisions his administration has been making. Question those then feel free to tend to “F1 is take take take”

          3. “Also, side note, F1A is both Liberty and the teams investing millions because to jump start the opportunities of female open wheel talent. Something karting hasn’t done in its entire existence but that’s another topic of discussion.”

            Karting has had a female FIA World Champion.

            I’ll just leave that there.

          4. from 1966, you should know that Alan

            I’ll also, leave that there

    1. it’s perplexing how these discrepancies in revenue generation and investment in club karting are not discussed more.

      Whenever the FIA introduces a very modest scheme, like the increased entry fees or the cost of the annual super license (i.e. an F1 tax) there’s outcry about it being unfair on the millionaires, and the FIA is blamed for ‘interfering’ in the sport.

      Most of the people covering F1 are seeing – and telling – things from F1’s perspective. It’s not necessarily ‘access journalism’, although there is some of that, but mostly just a lack of day to day knowledge of other parts of the motorsport world. And if there is some commentary on these issues from a different perspective, it’s usually discarded as being sour grapes because those other series aren’t as popular or successful as F1 is.

      Plus, Liberty and the teams have a lot of connections to help steer the narrative. Just look at how quickly ‘stories’ emerged about the FIA president when he dared to openly question Liberty’s valuation of F1.

      1. MichaelN, the issue that people have is that, whilst Sulayem has talked about wanting to increase the revenues of the FIA, there doesn’t seem to have been a corresponding plan to then reinvest any increased profits into any of the national motorsport bodies.

        The justification that Sulayem has given for the fees being increased the way that they were was to blame the current rate of inflation. However, the indication is that any increased revenue raised from these measures is staying with the central administration – it wouldn’t be used to increase the grants going to the regional motorsport bodies.

        You seem to be taking the position that criticism of the FIA should be brushed off as just “biased reporting”, but there have been signs that there are those within the FIA are also not happy with the way that the organisation is being run – in particular, there was the resignation of Robert Darbelnet, one of the longest serving members of the FIA, from the FIA’s ethics committee a few months ago.

        The FIA has been unwilling to say why he resigned, but the allegation made is that Darbelnet did so as a protest when the committee declined to take any action when a formal complaint of misconduct was lodged against Sulayem earlier this year, and instead quietly buried the affair.

    2. A lot of tracks (especially when it comes to circle tracks) are shutting down cause urban sprawl means the properties they were built on are worth far more money than they could ever hope to generate as a track.

      As for road circuits, once upon a time when more people did their own maintenance, people actually attended club racing and fields were 10x bigger, you had automotive care brands from oil and tools to cleaning products and spark plugs + local businesses + automakers actually spending money on ads and sponsorship. All that’s gone now. Today, you typically only get businesses that directly rely on club racing sponsoring and instead of real money, it’s like free product as prizes. Oh, you also get companies like NetJet and wealth investment doing some sponsorship since road racing now skews to the .5%.

      The FIA should do more for local karting though. Basically, maybe something like the top 100 tracks in the country that aren’t financially robust should get some assistance. I haven’t put any thought into it, but I’m sure something could be thought of.

      Oh…and the FIA must be making huge $ off their safety gear racket. The frequency with which we must now replace our helmets, belts, etc. is criminal. Oh, my belts are only good for two years and my helmet two if it was from three years into a specific 5-year FIA batch? What a joke. Wonder what the kickbacks and fees paid by Bell, Impact, Schroth, etc. are.

      1. I can write an essay on how many errors the FIA have made, but they are limited in scope as to what they can do. F1 is generation Billions (from drivers kart clubs helped introduce to motorsport), yet from what I can see re-invests very little.

  4. Blimey, somebody accepted Amex.

  5. Great, so they can afford to lower ticket prices and other fees now right?

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