Formula One Is Doing Just Fine, Thanks

The rich? They get richer, no?

bySteve Cole Smith| PUBLISHED Jul 25, 2016 11:15 AM
Formula One Is Doing Just Fine, Thanks

Amidst the gloomy news in motorsports about declining ticket sales and revenue and sponsorship and viewers comes this bright spot, just announced by Formula Money, the authority on Formula One finances, produced by respected journalists Christian Sylt and Caroline Reid.

Their research has revealed that total ticket revenue for Formula One races accelerated to $644.7 million last year, an increase of more than six percent over 2014’s total of $606.4 million.

Indeed, F1’s total ticket revenue increased 35 percent over the past decade from $478.1 million in 2006, leading to total combined ticket revenues of $6.2 billion over the 10-year period. The figures are presented in the new Formula Money Grand Prix Attendance Report, which unveils the highest and lowest ticket prices and attendance data for every day of every F1 Grand Prix over the decade to 2015.

The British Grand Prix, which took place earlier this month at Silverstone, had the highest combined race-day attendance of any F1 event over the past decade. A total of 1.12 million spectators passed through its gates during a period which saw British drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button win four championships between them. This put the British race just ahead of the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, which experienced cumulative attendance of 1.06 million and was the season-opener in all but two of the years.

Analysis of the highest and lowest ticket prices for every race from 2006 to 2015 shows that total receipts have risen by an average of 4.2 percent annually despite a growing number of competing leisure options and a dip in attendance due to the 2008 recession. Cumulative attendance at F1 races hit a low of 2.7 million in 2009 in the wake of the global economic downturn.

Growing ticket revenues make the sport increasingly attractive to new races. Last year the Mexican Grand Prix returned after a 23-year hiatus and its total attendance of 335,850 made it the most popular race of 2015. It drove an 8.5 percent increase in total attendance for the year to 3.5 million.