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F1 sponsorship revenue plunges
We all know that F1 has fallen on hard times when it comes to securing sponsorship. The bare liveries of the HRT and Sauber alone are the best examples of this since, even in its darkest days, Minardi, F1's most famous backmarker, still managed to get enough sponsors to cover its cars. How times have changed. Writing in the Financial Times today, Pitpass' business editor Chris Sylt reveals that in 2010 the F1 teams are receiving £77m ($115m) less sponsorship than they did last year.

Not only is this is the biggest fall in the past five years, but the £474m ($705m) the sport's 12 teams will receive from sponsorship in 2010 (see below) is also their lowest total take in the past five years. Remarkably this slump comes despite the number of teams in the sport rising from 10 to 12 this year.

Commercial interest in the sport has clearly been dented by the economic downturn but the extent of this hasn't been clear until now.

Lotus, HRT, Virgin and Sauber, the four teams which joined F1 this year struggled to secure enough sponsorship to cover their budgets which average £43m ($64m). HRT receives an estimated £21.2m ($32m) from its owners and two drivers with just £335,000 ($500,000) coming to the team from sponsorship. Remarkably this is a massive 490 times less than Ferrari's £165m ($245m) sponsorship take this year.

Even Lotus, the best-sponsored of the new outfits, is receiving an estimated £24m ($35m) from its owners including Tony Fernandes boss of the Air Asia airline. It puts the future of the new teams in question as economic fluctuations could jeopardize the contributions from their owners.

Overall, average sponsorship revenues per team have plunged by 28.4% on 2009 to £40m ($59m). The drop was driven by the departure of several of the biggest-spending sponsors including ING and Panasonic who together paid £84m ($125m) annually.

Team  Estimated total sponsorship revenues 
Ferrari  £165m ($245m) 
McLaren  £95.3m ($142m) 
Williams  £53m ($79m) 
Mercedes  £50.5m ($75.2m) 
Renault  £35.4m ($52.75m) 
Red Bull  £21.6m ($32.2m) 
Lotus  £19m ($28.25m) 
Force India  £15.6m ($23.25m) 
Virgin  £9.2m ($13.75m) 
Toro Rosso  £5.5m ($8.2m) 
Sauber  £3.3m ($4.9m) 
Hispania  £335,000 ($500,000) 
Total  £474m ($705m) 

Source: formulamoney.com

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