Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

Formula One teams pulled in almost $2b in revenue

Jenson Button of McLaren Honda drives during day four of F1 winter testing at Circuit de Catalunya. photo / Getty
Jenson Button of McLaren Honda drives during day four of F1 winter testing at Circuit de Catalunya. photo / Getty

Formula One is wheel-spinning in loot.

Teams gathered a combined NZ$1.96 billion in revenue during the 2014 season but Forbes magazine who compiled the information, claimed teams had a combined net loss of NZ$498 million.

Neither Ferrari nor Sauber filed statements but Forbes estimated if they had, the total Formula One revenue would have pushed towards NZ$2.2 billion.

The Williams team was the highest earner with NZ$187m while Force India was down at the tail with NZ$126m in revenue, however that was a huge 26.8 per cent increase on their previous year.

New sponsors have been wary of committing to Formula One but Forbes said the sport has been able to keep high revenue tallies because the sport continued to appeal to the bulk of its shareholders.

Sponsorship was still the biggest financial boost for the teams ahead of prizemoney and the private investment from owners.

While figures are high several teams went into receivership. Manor and Caterham had combined debts of NZ$185m after their switch from V8 engines to a hybrid V6 engine proved to be a massive strain on the team finances.

Costs have soared with Mercedes boss Toro Wolff saying the new hybrid power units added another 15-20 per cent onto costs. Many would love to see the sport revert to the cheaper V8 horsepower but those pleas have gone unheeded.

Revenue continues to rise but profits are not keeping pace, giving a stronger push to arguments that the sport has to change to stay both popular and commercially viable.

2014 REVENUE LIST (in NZ)*
FORCE INDIA - $126 million
MANOR (MARUSSIA) - $47.6 million
McLAREN - $376.3 million
MERCEDES - $309 million
RED BULL - $430.7 million
RENAULT (LOTUS) - $241.5 million
TORO ROSSO - $233.3 million
WILLIAMS - $187.8 million
TOTAL - $1.96 billion

- NZ Herald

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