Jota has unveiled their striking gold livery and partners for the upcoming racing season, but it was the connection with NFL legend Tom Brady that turned heads.
In addition to the Jota announcement, I look at F1’s record 2022 profits, the possibility of the EU suing F1 over potentially increasing entry fees, a resurrected Italian sportscar is unveiled, the “Let’s Go Brandon” NASCAR lawsuit and more.
I also bring you the latest motorsport sponsorship deals and partnerships, how Haas saved a quarter of a million dollars and the latest motorsport movers and shakers.
All this in this week’s edition of the Business of Motorsport on Motorsport Prospects. You will be gold with envy.
Motorsport Industry News
F1 revenue was boosted to $2.5 billion in 2022 amid record fan attendance at races after the lean Covid years. Last year, overall revenue was up 20% from $2.136 billion to $2.573bn, while the operating income of the business – the number left after the teams were paid and other costs taken into account – rose from $92m to $239m. The 10 teams shared total payments of $1.157bn between them in 2022, compared with $1.068bn the previous year. F1 noted that its key measure of primary revenue rose 14% from $1.850bn to $2.107bn, split between race promotion fees (28.6%), media rights (36.4%) and sponsorship (16.9%).
Autosport explains that Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei says Formula 1 is playing a “long game” in growing the overall size of the business while helping the teams to make money.. “One of the things that we at F1 with Liberty’s help have been trying to do is build a mentality that I’ll credit the NFL for, which is one league, that we benefit when everybody benefits,” said Maffei in a call with Wall Street analysts.
There has been a lot of talk that Red Bull was considering a sale or relocation to the UK of the AlphaTauri team due to lackluster performance and the death of Red Bull co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz late last year. While initially Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko said any decision about a future sale would be down to the company’s shareholders, Red Bull says that they will not be selling the team. “I had some very good meetings with [Red Bull’s managing director] Oliver Mintzlaff, who confirmed that the shareholders will not sell Scuderia AlphaTauri, and that Red Bull will continue supporting the team in the future,” Tost said ahead of the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix. AlphaTauri finished ninth out of 10 teams last season. “All these rumors have no foundation, and the team has to remain focused for the start of the season to perform better than last year.”
Rumors have started that the current F1 teams are pushing for Liberty to triple the entry fee for new teams to $600M USD. Their argument is that the teams are now much more valuable than when the original $200M USD “anti-dilution” fee amount was set and that any new teams should pay this more realistic amount. While this may be what they want, as Dieter Rencken points out, any entry fee increase could risk an EU lawsuit. “The bottom line is that this matter, which first reared its head back in January, has suddenly been regurgitated during testing by certain individuals. The FIA’s Expression of Interest process for new teams has attracted around four applicants, and all it would need is for one of them call an anti-trust lawyer with a brief to open this can of worms. Don’t estimate the persuasive powers of a $200m saving, let alone $600m.”
What are the teams that could potentially be paying this entry fee? I have already mentioned in previous Business of Motorsport columns the official bids of Andretti/Cadillac and Panthera Team Asia. Rumors of the others are that one would be junior series stalwart Hitech GP, with or without the participation of former financial partner Dmitry Mazepin, while the other may be the newer junior series race team Mumbai Falcons, although they have denied any such bid.
The McLaren Formula 1 team has confirmed that it will utilize digital advertising throughout the 2023 Formula 1 season on the MCL60 car. Created by Seamless Digital, they allow for multiple brands to be displayed in rotation, a first for advertising in F1. For the season ahead, branding options for Google Chrome, one of McLaren’s major partners, will be displayed.
Racing News365 has dug into Williams finances for some interesting observations. “Williams posted total revenues of £96 million, recording a loss of £12m despite 2021 being their first year under the budget cap and first under F1’s revamped (secret) prize fund, which pays an estimated 20 per cent more for tenth in the (2020) classification – upon which 2021 payments are based – than previously. Add in bonuses under the 10-year matrix outlined here and Williams pulled around $60m (£48m in 2021) in prize money.”
Finally, UK politicians have called on F1 to set up an independent inquiry to investigate links between grand prix host nations and human rights violations. “It is a pity that the present leadership of the FIA and F1 seem to think money, profit and their own self-importance are far more important than giving dignity and basic human rights to people in the country that they make profit from.” Lewis Hamilton has urged F1 to do more.
General Motorsport Industry News
Revived Italian automotive manufacturer Isotta Fraschini has revealed a fully built Tipo 6 LMH Competitzione in Milan. The first car produced for the program is now ready for further development work and testing ahead of the brand’s planned FIA World Endurance Championship top class program, which is due to get underway later this year. The Isotta Fraschini staff were joined by team representatives from UK team Vector Sport, which is set to run the cars in the FIA WEC, at the unveiling. Team manager of the current LMP2 outfit Gary Holland was one of the group in attendance.
Chip Ganassi Racing and sponsor PNC Bank are continuing their Women In Motorsports internship program with the selection of three women who will work with the defending Indianapolis 500 winners starting in May. “We’re extremely proud to continue making steps toward gender equality in our sport,” said Ganassi. “It is vital that we maintain a welcoming environment where every individual has an equal opportunity to make an impactful contribution toward reaching our goals. We’re honored to share this vision and advance this program together with PNC Bank.”
According to CGR, “The trio of female college students will receive fully funded internships that provide valuable exposure within the professional motorsports industry. They will receive hands-on experience and mentorship, operating alongside team leaders that have led the organization to 21 championships over its 33-year history. The two-month internship starts on May 29 and will see the interns travel with the team to select races during the 2023 NTT IndyCar Series season.”
John Wallstreet looks at the state of NASCAR media rights and how NASCAR president Steve Phelps sees streaming as a good option after TNF’s first season on Amazon.
In other NASCAR news, according to the Sports Business Journal, NASCAR has already reached an agreement to sell approximately 80% of the over 500 acres of Auto Club Speedway track property. While no specific dollar figure was cited in the SBJ’s report, it said that the value of the deal is expected to be nine figures.
The collapse of the “Let’s Go Brandon” meme coin has sparked a billion-dollar court battle. Politics aside, this will be an interesting case to follow. I sense that it will most probably settle. NASCAR either approved the sponsorship or not and that should become fairly clear once the discovery phase takes place. “The LetsGoBrandon dot com Foundation claims that it operated under the impression that the NASCAR deal was sealed in the final days of 2021. It says it painted 18 cars with the “Let’s Go Brandon” logo, designed custom racing suits, and produced a professional marketing video.”
The Robb Report looks at how Porsche’s new hybrid racer aims to return the marque to endurance racing dominance. “Porsche’s return to endurance racing’s highest echelon was pragmatic; the nascent LMDh class is found in both the FIA’s global series and the IMSA SportsCar Championship, in North America. “To make a run for the big trophies in both championships with the same car, that was the main reason to come back,” says Urs Kuratle, Porsche’s director of Factory Motorsport LMDh, citing the resultant “cost efficiencies” of the development process.”
Racer looks at how IMSA GTP manufacturers chose different paths for their engine designs. “Two key factors influenced that quartet of manufacturers (along with Lamborghini, which will join the WeatherTech Championship in 2024) to pursue LMDh programs: the ability to incorporate their own styling cues into the bodywork, and almost total freedom in configuring the internal combustion engine (ICE) mated to the IMSA-mandated hybrid Energy Recovery System (ERS).”
Rivazza Branding has signed a three-year deal with the WSC Group and will run the TCR Spain championship with the approval of Spain’s National Sporting Authority RFEdeA. The company Rivazza Branding is part of Motorismo Group that publishes the most prestigious racing magazine in Spain, AUTOhebdo Sport, among other activities in motorsport.
HIGHSPEED Etoile, a futuristic racing anime project created in partnership with Super Formula, will begin its television broadcast in 2024. The project also revealed last Friday a teaser visual and the voice cast for eight of the main characters, with Fuka Izumi portraying protagonist Rin Rindoh.
Motorsport Sponsorship & Partnership News
Here are the latest motorsport sponsorship deals, partnerships and related analysis that were announced this week.
- Jota reveals Hertz Porsche WEC livery and partnership with NFL legend Brady
- Brady touts ‘incredibly exciting opportunity’ of JOTA WEC sponsorship
- How Gulf deal has boosted Williams’s F1 commercial strategy
- Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake gains speed on track with premium paint brand R-M
- Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake continues driving innovation with Marelli
- AIX Investment Group enters the world of Formula 2 Racing with a stunning car design and sponsorship of Brad Benavides
- Hitachi Astemo Partners with Team Penske on 2023 INDYCAR Program
- Kumho Tire named title sponsor of the TCR World Tour
- Grand Prix Studio enters 4th season as supporting sponsor of the Formula Race Promotions Series
- IMG to broadcast Formula 1 in-flight and in-ship in multi-year partnership
- Las Vegas Grand Prix pens multi-year Aristocrat Gaming deal
- Mercedes partner with mCloud on path to net zero
- F1 2023 commercial guide: Every team, every sponsor, all the major TV deals
- Mclaren Racing Seals Indycar Extension with Mission Foods
- Formula 1 announces long-term strategic partnership with Tottenham Hotspur Football Club
- Formula 1 and Fuji TV extend historic partnership to broadcast F1 in Japan in 2023
- NASCAR adds Lego as new licensee
- Sabelt to Open Factory Store at Oro Station Motor Circuit
- Extreme E Announces Agreement Extension with Šport TV
- Speedcafe.com and ARG form international streaming parternship
- Andretti Autosport Announces Partnership with DNSFilter for NTT INDYCAR SERIES and INDY NXT by Firestone 2023 Seasons
- Cyversity Announces Partnership with INDY NXT Driver Josh Green
- Alpine Esports Signs Qan Platform as Its Official Blockchain Partner to Support Fan Engagement, Team Performance and Operations
- Betano extends partnership with FRAS for the 2023 Romanian Rally Championship
- Arrow McLaren Ties Up Lucas Oil Extension
- Anheuser-Busch talking to NASCAR teams about plans for ’24
- Firestone Extends Title Sponsorship of St. Petersburg Race
- Measuring performance: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake announces partnership with Diagnostix
The Business of Running a Race Team
Australian race team Garry Rogers Motorsport has been announced as taking over the design and manufacturing of the next generation of Peugeot’s TCR cars. Peugeot Sport, the department of the French brand that is responsible for its motorsport activities, recently struck a deal with GRM to transfer TCR car development responsibility over to the team and the first project will be the new generation 308.
Haas has saved $250,000 to put towards its car development by reducing the number of people on its pit wall. “When you need to make efficiencies, you look at everything — but not just efficiency, when you need money to invest in development because we have the cost cap, where do you put it?” Steiner said. “We have six people out there, or a quarter of a million on car updates? I know what we are doing, and the guys came up with that idea.”
Motorsport Movers & Shakers
Susie Wolff has been appointed the managing director of the F1 Academy series that aims to develop young female drivers. Ex-Williams F1 test driver and DTM racer Wolff more recently served as the team principal and latterly CEO for the Venturi Formula E squad, positions she occupied between 2018 and 2022. The announcement of her appointment reads that Wolff will “be responsible for spearheading the development of female motorsport talent with a focus on creating a successful pathway to higher categories in the F1 pyramid.”
Andreas Seidl has been the CEO of the Sauber Group since the 9th of January. As the Group as a whole gears up for 2023 and the Formula One season starts with testing in Bahrain, the man at the top sits down to explain his vision for the whole of the Sauber Group in this Q&A. “Our vision in Hinwil for the future is clear: we want to keep moving forward and ultimately become a team which is able to fight for podiums and race wins. We want to become a desirable team, where people want to be – employees, drivers and partners. We want to become a team which fans want to follow. My focus, together with the team, is to work out, implement and execute a clear plan of how we get there.”
The Stripping The Dipping Podcast talked to legendary team owner and driver Bryan Herta as he recounts stories from his racing past. You can watch the video above.