Cost of Formula 1

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Last week, AUTOSPORT published in their magazine details of the budgets of the Formula 1 teams together with their estimated spending, this is available on-line here (behind their paywall).  This they got from the data submitted by the British based teams to Companies House detailing their profit/loss and turnover.  It is noted that the data is at best 18 months in arrears.  I have put the data into the table below:

TeamIncome £MTotalSpendProfitPersonnel
TeamSponsorsFOM
Red Bull Racing1106070240235.54.5690
Scuderia Ferrari201608026025010700
McLaren Racing01206018016020600
Lotus304545120130-10500
Mercedes Grand Prix506040150160-10930
Sauber040357590-15320
Force India30103575100-25300
Williams30283290900520
Scuderia Toro Rosso3283070700300
Caterham2693065650260
Marussia3015651510220

This highlights the fact that only the top three teams in the constructors’ championship last year made a profit, and the next four teams made ever increasing losses.  In particular the financial situation for Sauber and Force India doesn’t look good.  The Russian Sauber deal may have helped to fill this hole, but I worry about Sauber.  These two teams’ financial difficulties were well reported, as were the struggles of the Lotus team (and the deal with Infinity may help there), but Mercedes making a loss is surprising.  It also shows that if Caterham are to lose the FOM money for finishing tenth this season, they will need to find some additional sponsors in order to be able to compete with Marussia.  No wonder the team has yet to sign Kovalainen.

The interesting results come when we look at the points scored (and for this I am looking at the 2012 points, as that is when the financial data is from):

TeamSpendPersonnelConstructors Points 2012£M/pointPersonnel / pointSpend / Person £k
Red Bull Racing235.56904600.511.5341
Scuderia Ferrari2507004000.631.75357
McLaren Racing1606003780.421.59267
Lotus1305003030.431.65260
Mercedes Grand Prix1609301421.136.55172
Sauber903201260.712.54281
Force India1003001090.922.75333
Williams90520761.186.84173
Scuderia Toro Rosso70300262.6911.54233
Caterham652600250
Marussia512200232

While this shows that Red Bull are the most efficient team in terms of number of people employed per point scored,  both McLaren and Lotus out perform them in terms of spend per point.  It also highlights how inefficient Mercedes were (on a par with Williams) in terms of spend and personnel per point.

Assuming that the budgets for the current season are similar we can see that there has been a significant change in the efficiency of the Mercedes team:

TeamSpendPersonnelConstructors Points 2013£M/pointPersonnel / point
Red Bull Racing235.56903120.752.21
Scuderia Ferrari2507002181.153.21
McLaren Racing160600652.469.23
Lotus1305001870.72.67
Mercedes Grand Prix1609302350.683.96
Sauber90320712.8645.71
Force India100300611.644.92
Williams90520190520
Scuderia Toro Rosso70300252.812
Caterham652600
Marussia512200

Mercedes in 2013 are so far the most efficient team in scoring points, with Williams really suffering.  McLaren, Ferrari and Sauber have also dropped significantly from their efficiency last season, with Force India going the other way.

Do any of these figures strike you as odd?  With Ferrari spending  a quarter of a Billion pounds ($385 Million) a year is there any real hope of resource restriction?  Let me know in the comments below.

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