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F1 news

F1 revenue impacted by Imola cancellation

The cancellation of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix impacted second quarter revenues for 2023, while F1 credits celebrity presence with social media engagement growth.

Belgium race start
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Formula 1's revenue for the second quarter of 2023 fell to $141 million compared to $146 million in the same period in 2022, largely owing to the cancellation of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

The race was due to be held at the end of May, but severe flooding in the region on the days leading up to the weekend led to the decision to postpone and ultimately cancel the event.

F1 officials felt it would have been too straining on the emergency services in the Emilia Romagna region, who were already having to deal with the devastation of the floods.

Brian Wendling, Chief Financial Officer of Liberty Media, told a recent earnings call: "Given Imola was cancelled on the Wednesday of race week, the majority of the race related costs with regard to planning, logistics, and setup had already been incurred.

"On a full year basis, we estimate the impact to adjusted awaited up from the cancellation of Imola is modest at less than $20 million."

This also followed the cancellation of the Chinese Grand Prix due to the COVID-19 restrictions in the country earlier this year, which meant that only six races were held during the second quarter of 2023 instead of eight without any replacements.

While this also impacted the freight and hospitality income, race promotion revenue was unaffected by one less race due to the contractual increase in fees and sponsorship revenues from new and existing sponsors.

F1 credits social media with growth

While the reduction in races hit F1's media rights revenue, this was partially offset by new subscriptions to F1 TV.

F1's social media presence has also been one of the key drivers of fan engagement, with celebrity presence playing a part. A post featuring Shakira at the Spanish Grand Prix generated over 50 million impressions and over two million engagements.

The impact of the upcoming Apple TV movie starring Brad Pitt and Damson Idris is also having an effect, with pictures of them lining up at the back of the grid generating over 2.8 million engagements.

Stefano Domenicali, Chief Executive of F1, said: "Formula 1 is capitalising on our growth momentum and our fans are engaging with the sport across traditional, digital and social media platforms.

"We congratulate Red Bull on their record-breaking performance season-to-date, and are thrilled to see the gaps closing across the rest of the grid to produce exciting rivalries on track."


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