The 2017 season started amid great enthusiasm about Formula 1's commercial future. Liberty Media had completed its purchase of F1's commercial rights, placing an enterprise value of $8billion (£6.15bn) on an activity with annual revenues of around $1.8bn (£1.39bn). Of that, 10 teams got to share - albeit inequitably - approximately half.
Their collective slices - crucially, calculated on earnings - totalled around $900million (£690m), disbursed in 10 monthly instalments during 2017 by the operating company, Formula One Management.
That is where the bullishness stopped. For the first time in almost a decade, F1's earnings are down on a per-race basis after Liberty Media, listed as FWONK on the NASDAQ exchange, recruited a slew of highly paid executives and took plush new offices in the City. In addition, it invested in the quality of 'the show', and commissioned expensive research and marketing tools such as F1's new logo.