The cost of F1 success: Big three racing giants are also biggest spenders

<i>Image: Scuderia Ferrari</i>
<i>Image: Scuderia Ferrari</i>

Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull were the three most successful teams in the Formula 1 world championship in 2018, spending more money that the other seven teams combined.

According to journalist Dieter Rencken, who each year collates the financial figures for, the cost of keeping two cars on track in the championship is around $112 355 000.

Worried by spiralling costs, F1 will impose a budget ceiling of $150-million from 2021.

Team budgets in 2018:

1. Ferrari (2nd in constructors championship) - $410-million total

950 employees + 480 in engine department

Receives the largest part of the sport's commercial revenues redistributed by F1 on account of the team's historic status in the sport. Backed also by cigarette manufacturers Philip Morris via their "Mission Winnow" project.

2. Mercedes (1st) - $400-million total

950 employees + 500 in engine department

Daimler-Benz's F1 activities are split into two - Mercedes GP for race operations and the powertrains, operating independently.

3. Red Bull (3rd) - $310-million


860 employees

Should benefit in 2019 from sister team Toro Rosso and common engine supplier Honda

4. McLaren (6th) - $220-million 

760 employees

Supported by Middle East investors but despite losing Fernando Alonso for the new season, will benefit from various new sponsors one of which is British American Tobacco through their projet "A better tomorrow"

5. Renault (4th) - $190-million 

680 employees + 300 in engine department

Strategic partnership of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi but overshadowed by the Carlos Ghosn affair

6. Williams (10th) - $150-million 

630 employees

Lost title sponsor Martini for the season to be replaced by telecommunications company ROKiT. With the support also of Canadian multi-millionaire businessman Lawrence Stroll - the father of driver Lance Stroll.

7. Toro Rosso (9th) - $150-million 

460 employees

Should benefit in 2019 from its sister team Red Bull and common engine supplier Honda

8. Alfa Romeo Racing (ex-Sauber) (8th) - $135-million


400 employees

Benefitted since 2018 by a Ferrari engine deal and now boasts support of Alfa Romeo

9. Haas (5th) - $130-million 

250 employees

Will benefit in 2019 from a title sponsor, energy drinks manufacturer Rich Energy

10. Racing Point (ex-Force India) (7th) - $120-million

405 employees

Will benefit in 2019 from new title sponsor, internet sports betting site SportPesa

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