F1: Liberty’s F1 business turns from loss to profit

With the pandemic now subsiding, the business of F1 is hitting on all cylinders.

Greg Maffei, president and CEO of commercial rights holder Liberty Media, told analysts on a third quarter earnings call that some 70% of the crowd in Austin had been attending their first grand prix.

“We are excited to have our second race in the U.S. and welcome the Miami GP in May. Demand is high: 275,000 people pre-registered to purchase tickets as compared to a planned capacity of around 80,000,” he said.

Grandstand tickets sold out on the first day, with 1,800 people paying a $5,000 deposit for luxury hospitality.

The Formula One Group as a whole reported a $68 million profit in the third quarter, compared to a $115 million loss in the same period in 2020 when races were being held behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Seven races took place in Q3 2021 compared to 10 in the same three-month period of 2020.

Total Formula One Group revenues rose to $668 million from a previous $597.

“Formula One is firing on all cylinders and producing results on the track, for our fans and partners and our investors,” said chief executive Stefano Domenicali.

“We already know that the 2021 season will be one for the ages, with a fierce battle up and down the grid and among the constructors. We have seen the results with fans at the track and with engagement across all platforms.”