Formula 1 (F1), the prestigious motor racing series, recorded revenues of $774 million during the second quarter of this year as the series continues to recover following the pandemic.
The revenue result, announced by Liberty Media, the US media giant and commercial rights holder of F1, marks the series’ fourth consecutive quarter of profit and represents a 49% increase compared to the same period in 2021, which also contained seven races.
The series’ finances have been on a steady recovery since last year following the return of crowds and a boost in sponsorship and media deals that were limited due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.
F1’s latest numbers saw its primary revenue, including proceeds from race events, media rights, and sponsorship, increase by 35% from $464 million to $628 million year on year.
Liberty Media said the revenue boost was due to the return of spectators and promotional events thanks to the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions worldwide, as well as higher revenue from its F1 TV streaming service and income from new sponsorship agreements.
At the start of this year, the series announced several sponsorship deals including MSC Cruises, Tata Communications, technology firm Lenovo, and US customer relationship management provider Salesforce.
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It also announced growth in subscription from F1 TV and extended rights deals with pay-television broadcasters Foxtel and Canal Plus in Australia and France respectively. It was also reported major US sports broadcaster ESPN had renewed its rights for the series until 2025.
Liberty Media said while the second quarter of 2022 and 2021 contained the same number of races, this year’s figures recognized a higher proportion of season-based rights income.
Revenue generated from F1 transporting team equipment to races and hospitality income increased from $37 million during the second quarter last year to $116 million this year. Mexican spirits brand Patron Tequila became the official tequila of trackside hospitality experience F1 Paddock Club in May.
Team payments rose from $308 million to $368 million, while selling, general and administrative outgoings increased from $37 million to $56 million. Other hospitality and transportation costs increased from $90 million to $166 million.
The series said its outgoing cost increases were due to staging more events and more significant freight costs.
The latest numbers add to the $360 million produced in the first quarter of 2022, bringing F1’s six-month revenue to $1.04 billion.
F1 president Stefano Domenicali said: “The F1 2022 season continues to set records, as we’ve seen exciting action and unpredictable outcomes on the track.
“We are attracting fans in person and across all our platforms. We are making meaningful progress working with all our stakeholders including our teams, race promoters, the FIA, and business partners towards our goal to hit net-zero carbon by 2030.”
The series is enjoying a surge in popularity on the back of its Netflix docuseries Drive to Survive, which has seen an unprecedented number of fans in the US tune in to see each race.
Next year, the series will race in Las Vegas for the first time since 1985 after it struck a three-year contract with the local authorities to create a street circuit in the city. The new race adds to the established US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, and the Miami race, which was staged for the first time earlier this year.
In May, Liberty Media announced it was buying a plot of land in Las Vegas for $240 million to build a pit and paddock complex for the race next year.
It also announced it had renewed its hosting deals for its races in Australia, Singapore, and Bahrain, as well as its Netflix deal for the fifth and sixth seasons of Drive to Survive.
This 2022 season comprises 22 races following the cancellation of the Russian GP. The series is currently on a mid-season break that will end with the Belgium GP from August 26 to 28 at Spa-Francorchamps.