No. 1 / THE SPORT
Unlike most other major sports, F1 race
promoters don’t generally get to keep any
of the revenue from trackside advertising
or corporate hospitality. Neither do they get
a share of revenue from TV broadcasting.
A race promoter’s primary source of
income from a grand prix is usually ticket
sales, and this typically barely covers the
hosting fee paid to the Formula One Group.
According to F1’s industry monitor Formula
Money, national or local governments
invest almost $450m in races every year.
On average, ticket sales comprise
$22m of the $27m average revenue for
permanent circuits and $29.5m of the
$32.5m brought in by street races.
With hugely popular races such as
Singapore and Australia, street circuits
attract a higher average attendance.
Venues get around 25 percent
commission on food and drink sold at track
outlets. This brings in around $1m, while
premium parking makes around half that.
Less obvious is that helicopter take-off
and landing slots at permanent tracks
can bring in $1.5m. The world record for
most commercial aircraft movements in a
single day is Silverstone’s heliport during
Neither is cheap, but how do F1 road and street track costs compare?
the 1999 British Grand Prix, with 4,200.
It now averages 1,500 per race, with each
slot charged at approximately $1,000.
Race costs differ significantly between
permanent and street tracks, with the latter
more costly to organize. The biggest cost is
the hosting fee, averaging around $27m for
both track types. However, street tracks
average $8m to rent portable pit buildings,
another $8m for safety fencing and barriers
and $14m on grandstand rentals.
This gives permanent circuits total race
costs estimated at $48m, whereas street
races pay $87.5m on average. It leaves
permanent venues with an annual deficit
of $21m, with street races losing $55m.
Singapore’s government invested
$66.9m in its race last year, but the latest
trend comes from the U.S., where Texas
has an innovative scheme which could
mitigate much of the risk for governments
investing in a grand prix. The state is
investing up to $25m annually in the
U.S. Grand Prix at Austin’s Circuit of
The America’s via a fund which makes a
payment to the race promoters based
on the amount of tax income generated
by spending as a result of the race.
PUTTING ON THE SHOW
Singapore is a popular F1
venue and a terrific advert
for the Southeast Asian
city state, but government
funding is a must.
Ticket sales $22m $27m
Other revenues $5m $2.5m
TOTAL $27m $29.5m
Costs -$48m -$87.5m
LOSS BEFORE -$21m -$55m
Source: Formula Money
PERMANENT CIRCUIT VS. STREET CIRCUIT