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Volume 7 No. 83
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Formula 1 Teams' Costs Rose 14.5% To Record £1.3B In '16

Formula 1 introduced rules this year which aimed to "put the brakes on the dominance of a single outfit," according to Christian Sylt for the BBC. They came at a "hefty cost." Research revealed new regulations fueled a £167.6M increase in the F1 teams' costs in '16. They rose 14.5% to a combined £1.3B -- the "highest-ever total recorded in the sport." F1 cars are designed the year before they race so the "bulk of the investment in them is paid for then, too." It means that the cost of this year's campaign is reflected in the teams' '16 accounts. The costs of the teams' operating companies came to an average of £165.9M in '16, topped by Mercedes, which spent £274.9M, "excluding the investment in its engines." It is the highest total recorded on the accounts of a British F1 team and "even eclipses the turbocharged spending levels" before the '08 economic crash which "drove Toyota and Honda out of the sport." At the "other end of the spectrum is last year's new entrant," Haas F1, which spent "a third as much" as Mercedes. Haas "managed to keep its costs down by taking advantage of a new rule allowing teams to buy in more parts than before." Writing in the introduction to its accounts, Mercedes Motorsport Dir Toto Wolff noted that there has been "an increase of £27.9m in operating costs mainly due to the impact of technical regulation changes and movement in foreign exchange rates." The '16 accounts for Force India "give more insight into the effort required to meet the new rules." It said that combined with the change in tire sizes, "our traditional method of retaining 50% of the previous season's car and updating the remaining 50% is not possible for 2017." More than 90% of Force India's car this year is "completely new." The regulation changes "even dented the bottom line" of British manufacturer McLaren. It went from a net £3.4M profit in '15 to an after-tax loss of £3.2M the following year (BBC, 10/13).