• Costs crisis

Formula One and the $100 coathanger

ESPN Staff
October 9, 2013 « 2014 engines could create rifts | Grosjean eyes repeat fight with Raikkonen »
Some involved in F1 are feeling the pinch. Some. © Getty Images
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The huge costs facing teams competing in Formula One have been revealed by the Times with reports that they are hit with massive costs by circuits desperate to recoup as much money as they can in the face of huge charges imposed by the sport.

F1 in figures

  • £536m Dividend taken by CVC Capital Partners from Formula One as the sport's major shareholder

    £446m Amount paid to the 11 teams

    £272m The amount paid to the top four teams - Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren - leaving £174m divided between the other seven

The report says that teams pay an average charge of $300,000 (£180,000) every race weekend for hiring facilities at circuits outside Europe. Everything costs, including hiring of fridges (a snip at £1200 for the weekend) to coathangers (£60).

With Formula One charging huge fees - up to $40 million - to allow the circuits to host races, track owners have to try to gain income wherever they can.

The Times quotes one team source as saying they were in effect being taxed for racing. "It is like a football team turning up at Old Trafford for a match against Manchester United and discovering they have to pay for the changing rooms, the hot water and the soap. It is just another cost that the big teams probably don't notice but is a major factor in the budget of the smaller teams in the sport."

The elephant in the room

  • "There's a nasty four-letter word doing the rounds in the paddock at the moment. It begins with 'c' and ends in 't', and is increasingly being used as a threat to the very future of the sport..."

    Read more here

The report goes on to say the smaller teams, already under huge financial pressure, may have to stay away from some of next year's in-season tests with daily running costs around $500,000. "We've put together calculations that estimate $8 million for us to attend the four tests," Andy Stevenson, the Force India sporting director, told the newspaper.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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