Like the famous Martin Amis novel, the Bernie Ecclestone era* of Formula 1 has been all about one thing … Money. Here in the Sett we couldn’t help but notice a series of F1 stories in recent days which revolve around money (or the lack of it!)
Feeling floaty! F1’s IPO confirmed
It was confirmed over the weekend that Formula 1’s parent company, the jazzily named “Delta Topco”, will be proceeding with an initial public offering of its shares (also known as “floating” or a “flotation”). They previously tried to proceed with the IPO last year, but it was shelved due to poor market conditions. CVC Capital Partners, a private equity firm, began building up its stake in Formula 1 in late 2005, so a full “exit” has very much been on the cards for some time now.
A tidy windfall will be coming Bernie’s way if the IPO goes to plan. Well, he does have to pay for his daughter Tamara’s wedding … the bride has decided that she wants none other than Elton John to play at her wedding at a cost to Daddy Ecclestone of, gulp, £1 million.
10 teams good, 11 teams bad
Perhaps Bernie doesn’t like odd numbers, perhaps he just doesn’t like Marussia, but the 11th team in Formula 1 is due to get nada, nil, nothing … well, you get the picture.
“We pay the top ten, that’s what we do. For three years we did something different because we had an agreement with Max [Mosley, the previous FIA President] but from now on we will pay the top ten and that is it” said Bernie recently.
The new teams were introduced in 2010, a mere 3 years ago, which is hardly enough time to make a real impact on the sport. So it seems a shame to effectively ditch them already. Some may argue that F1 shouldn’t reward losers – true, but success for some doesn’t happen overnight, especially not on a shoestring budget…
Fire the accountant – Williams “lose” £5 million
Apparently due to a mere accounting change, the distinctly lacklustre Williams team revealed a loss of £5 million in its 2012 accounts released yesterday (compared with a profit last year of £7.4 million). Ouch.
According to Williams, their revenue of £9.4 million from Formula One World Championship Limited (the sport’s commercial rights holder) was not included in the 2012 results “because of the technical interpretation of today’s accounting standards”. According to Badger’s abacus, if you include the commercial rights money that still equates to a profit of £4.4 million (which is £3 million shy of last year…)
If you’re struggling to sleep, try reading the Williams Annual Report by clicking here. The most interesting fact? Sir Frank Williams’ daughter, Claire Williams, who was recently promoted to Deputy Team Principal, was paid a mere £83,783 in 2012. Nepotism? What nepotism?
* to be fair, it’s less of an era and probably more of an eon.