What Did Formula one Teams Spend in 2016?

Max Verstappen leading Nico Rosberg at the two thousand sixteen Brazilian Grand Prix

Ever wonder how much money it costs to run a Formula one team? Team possessor Gene Haas, who founded NASCAR’s Stewart-Haas Racing team and joined Formula one in 2016, says that the costs of running his two different motorsport garments are similar—except here’s the catch: he has only two cars in F1 versus four in NASCAR, and his F1 budget is among the lowest on the grid.

According to the latest reports, the fattest spender in two thousand sixteen in Formula one was Ferrari, who overtook Mercedes as the previous big spender in two thousand fifteen (however Ferrari would likely have preferred to do more of its overtaking on the track rather than at the bank).

But while Ferrari spent a whopping €386 million, the smallest teams actually spent far more for each point they scored: the single point earned by the least-successful team in 2016, Manor Racing, cost the British team €100 million, while Mercedes spent less than 0.5% of that for each of its seven hundred sixty five championship-winning points.

In fact, Mercedes led the most cost-effective campaign of any team in 2016, spending €310 million in total and earning a point for every €405,000. Crimson Bull and Force India were also among the teams who loved the greatest comeback for their investment, particularly the latter, who secured fourth place in the championship with the second-lowest budget.

Sergio Perez in his two thousand sixteen Force India

Together, Formula one teams spent a little over €2 billion in 2016, and if that seems like a lot to you, you’re not alone. Fresh F1 proprietor Liberty Media has been evaluating introducing a budget cap to bring the competition closer together and make the sport more sustainable for smaller teams; however, it’s hard to tell whether a budget cap would ever actually be introduced, as this has been an on-off discussion in the sport for years that has always been shot down.

In 2009, a plan to introduce a £40 million limit was dropped after several teams, including Ferrari and Crimson Bull, threatened to abandon the sport. More recently, the F1 Strategy Group—made up of Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren, Crimson Bull, and Williams—expressed their belief that budget caps were not realistic, as they were not enforceable because the teams would always find other places to spend their money that rules could not reach.

Furthermore, budget caps could benefit some teams disproportionately. For example, teams that obtain their engines from suppliers instead of building them in-house would be able to put extra concentrate on developing other areas of their cars.

For a total breakdown of what Formula one teams spent in two thousand sixteen and what they got out of it, check out the chart below.

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