Formula 1 saw its profits recover in 2021 following a difficult 2020 season, where it posted a $386 million loss because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Last year saw the championship complete a full season with eased restrictions, helping it to post a $92m profit on the back of revenues of $2.13bn. 2020’s revenue was just $1.1bn as the season comprised just 17 rounds, many of which were less profitable European rounds.
The lack of spectators, paddock club and financial aid for teams, were also to blame for the drop in profits in 2020.
But a bumper season of racing, which included 22 rounds, the easing of many restrictions and several contract renewals saw profits recover, with 2021 surpassing even 2019’s profit of $19m and revenues of $2bn.
Teams also shared one of the largest prize pots in history, with $1.06bn shared amongst the ten outfits. That compares to just $711m in 2020, which also included Concorde Agreement sign up bonuses.
The bulk of F1’s revenue was driven by race hosting income, broadcasting deals and sponsorship, which rose from $1.02bn to $1.85bn. Other revenue, such as freight and hospitality revenue, more than doubled from $116m to $286m.
“2021 was a remarkable year for Formula 1 in all respects,” said Formula 1 president and CEO, Stefano Domenicali. “The racing was spectacular and the business produced outstanding results.
“We continue to build off this strong foundation and look forward to our record setting 23-race calendar for 2022 with new cars, regulations, races and drivers.”
Liberty Media, which owns F1, also reported that the sport’s cumulative TV viewership rose by 4% to 1.55 billion, averaging 70.3 million viewers per race.
The US, which has seen a boom in interest after Netflix’s Drive to Survive documentary, saw a 58% rise in cumulative viewership.
The sport’s social media platforms saw substantial growth too, with followers up 40% to 49 million with 1.5 billion aggregate social engagements.