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Formula 1 finances improve in first quarter of 2021

Formula 1 is still on its road to recovery after last years’ disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The premier racing sport has made steady progress in the first quarter of 2021. The latest report from Formula 1 confirms that total revenue for the period running from January 1 to March 31 ie the first quarter of 2021, came in at $180 million compared to $39 million for the first quarter of 2020.

The premier racing competition suffered an operating loss in the quarter, but one that dwindled from $137 million last year to just $33 million in 2021. Due to the global pandemic, no races were held in the first three months of 2020, while F1 registered revenue from one race – the Bahrain GP – during this year’s Q1.

A total amount of $44 million was distributed to teams in the first quarter while no money came their way in Q1 2020.  Formula 1 suffered a record loss of $386m in 2020 in a season heavily disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Figures announced by Formula 1 Group reported the losses after payments made to teams.

Overall revenue dropped by 44 percent from $2.022 billion to $1.145 billion with just 17 races held amidst the COVID-19 crisis. F1 had initially planned to have 22 races last season, but a truncated campaign meant only 17 races were completed.

Formula 1 revenue streams can be classified into two categories: Primary F1 revenue and Other F1 revenue. The former includes race-hosting fees and sponsorship fees, but Formula 1 has now reclassified “media rights”, or broadcasting revenue, into its Primary revenue stream. Revenues of the F1 team can be classified into four categories-Formula One Management (FOM) payments, sponsors, investments, driver linked incomes. With more countries that host F1 races recovering from the pandemic, there is a good chance the current season will have all races. Australian GP was postponed due to the pandemic situation, but the race is likely to take place later this year. 

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