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Exclusive: Why F1's growth is crucial for the survival of its teams

With TV viewership on the up and record amounts of money being pumped into the sport in partnership deals, AlphaTauri Team Principal Franz Tost says F1's global reach is a major factor in helping teams secure enough sponsorship to survive and thrive.

AlphaTauri Team Principal Franz Tost believes that F1 is the best marketing tool for companies seeking to increase their global image or brand awareness. Since assuming control of F1's commercial rights in 2017, Liberty Media have sought to grow the sport's popularity, with last year's cumulative TV audience hitting 1.55 billion, up four per cent year-on-year from 2020. F1 is continuing its push into new markets and destinations, and Tost noted the championship's uniquely global reach as a key factor in its teams' continued survival, as their ability to attract sponsors and partners is increased. "F1 is the best possible ambassador, from the sporting side, that you can have in the world," Tost told RacingNews365.com . "F1 is such a good global player. We are [racing] every second weekend, nearly everywhere in the world. "As a company, you must also be a global player, otherwise it doesn't make sense. "If you, as a company, want to improve your image or brand awareness, whatever you want to do, F1 is the best marketing tool."

Record F1 sponsorship outlays

Tost's comments come as several major companies have signed significant partnership deals with F1 teams ahead of the 2022 season. One such firm is software giant Oracle, which signed a deal with AlphaTauri's sister team, Red Bull, said to be worth between $75 to $90 million annually, representing reportedly the biggest sponsorship outlay in F1 history . With such sums of money being poured into the sport, and fans flocking back to grandstands after being shut out for much of 2020, Tost reckons F1 is currently in rude financial health and its teams' futures are secure. "Companies always use F1 to increase their business," said Tost. "They use F1 as one of their marketing tools, and therefore I think that F1 will have a bright future. "Last year, grandstands were full, and this is not only because of COVID – no, they're motorsport fans. "I think that also in the future, F1 will be successful, and this means that [AlphaTauri] will survive."

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