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Formula 1 Bahrain GP

F1 revenue boosted to $2.5 billion in 2022 amid record fan attendance

Formula 1’s revenue and profits continued to grow in 2022 as grand prix racing finally moved out of the COVID period that impacted the previous two years.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari F1-75 at the start

While there was a full 22-race calendar in 2021 there were still some restrictions on attendance in place. But last year, with those finally gone and F1 continuing to benefit worldwide from the Drive to Survive boost, the numbers rose significantly.

The increasing interest in the world championship was reflected in a claimed overall fan attendance of 5.7 million, which represents a rise of 36% since 2019, the last season not impacted by COVID restrictions prior to 2022.

Last year, overall revenue was up 20% from $2.136 billion to $2.573bn, while the operating income of the business – the number left after the teams were paid and other costs taken into account – rose from $92m to $239m.

The 10 teams shared total payments of $1.157bn between them in 2022, compared with $1.068bn the previous year.

F1 noted that its key measure of primary revenue rose 14% from $1.850bn to $2.107bn, split between race promotion fees (28.6%), media rights (36.4%) and sponsorship (16.9%).

Huge crowd support for Ferrari

Huge crowd support for Ferrari

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Regarding the results, Liberty Media noted: “Race promotion revenue grew due to higher fees generated from the mix of events held, with three additional races held outside of Europe compared to 2021 and the return of capacity crowds, whereas limitations on fan attendance in 2021 led to one-time changes in the contractual terms of a limited number of races held.

“Media rights revenue increased for the full year due to growth in F1 TV subscription revenue and increased fees under new and renewed contractual agreements, and sponsorship revenue increased due to the recognition of revenue from new sponsors.”

There was also an increase in the streams that come under other revenue, “driven by higher hospitality revenue generated from the Paddock Club, which operated at 19 races, with record attendance throughout 2022 compared to 11 events during 2021, as well as higher freight revenue with more races held outside of Europe compared to the prior year and the impact of freight cost inflation on billing rates.

“Other F1 revenue for the full year also benefited from the ability to undertake a greater scope of activities than was possible in the pandemic-affected first half of 2021.”

However, the increase in revenue came in tandem with an increase in costs from $421m to $593m across various areas, including a substantial sum already committed by F1 to this year’s inaugural Las Vegas GP, which it is promoting.

Liberty added: “These costs increased in the full year primarily driven by higher freight costs with three more events held outside of Europe and underlying inflation on freight costs, increased Paddock Club costs associated with higher hospitality attendance and servicing eight additional Paddock Club events compared to the prior year, as well as higher commissions and partner servicing costs associated with increased Primary F1 revenue streams and higher F2 and F3 related costs.

“Selling, general and administrative expense increased in the full year due to higher personnel and IT costs and increased legal and other advisory fees, as well as approximately $19 million of costs associated with the planning and launch of the Las Vegas Grand Prix.”

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F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali highlighted grand prix racing’s increasing presence on social media channels as a key indicator of its popularity.

“F1 saw record attendance at its races in 2022 and we were once again the fastest growing major sport on social media,” he noted.

“We are continuing to build fan engagement through our high-quality broadcast, enhanced content on F1 TV, social channels and new immersive experiences including the F1 Arcade and F1 Exhibition products.

“F1’s global relevance and sustainability efforts are enticing the entry of premier OEMs including Audi and Ford in 2026, and we are confident they will bring significant value to our sport.”

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