Red Bull accounts reveal massive F1 spend in 2009

Red Bull’s F1 accounts for 2009 reveal just how much was spent chasing the World Championship last season, with the Austrian drinks company pumping over £100m into the operation.

The title campaign, and specifically the requirement to build a double diffuser after the start of the season, contributed to the fact that the team spent more than in 2008. However a leading team source insists that the bulk of any increase reflects not so much the cost of competing, but the cost of success, and actual operating costs were less. 

Drivers and team members earned bonuses that reflected the rise from being a seventh placed team with just 29 points in 2008 to one that won six Grands Prix and challenged for the title.

Interpreting the numbers is not easy because the operation is split into two companies, Red Bull Technology, and its subsidiary, Red Bull Racing, an arrangement that was concluded to allow RBT to also supply Scuderia Toro Roso.

RBT designs and builds the cars, while RBR is the actual racing team. Under UK company law, Red Bull does not have to disclose details of payments between the two.

In essence parent company Red Bull GmbH pays the team whatever it needs, and thus income automatically rises to cope with extra expenditure. RBT’s turnover was up 11% from £144.8m to £160.8m, with Red Bull GmbH’s contribution rising from £82.4m to £106.8m. The declared profit was £3.8m, up from £960K.

Included within the above numbers, RBR’s turnover rose from £123.5m to £132.7m. Red Bull GmbH’s payment (again a share of the above) was up from £78.9m to £96.9m. Profit was £704K, up from £470K.  RBR’s turnover would also have included income outside sponsorship and ‘Bernie money’ related to the Concorde Agreement.

RBT’s expenditure on R&D rose from £48.1m to £57.2m. There was also extra capital expenditure, on factory equipment and so on, of £4.9m.

Wages and salaries at RBT were up from £33.7m to £40.9m. Since there was no major change in staff actual numbers year on year, that reflects success bonuses. RBT employed total of 592 people in 2009 (although there are additional contractors who don’t figure in that number), of whom 61 officially worked for RBR.

 RBT’s accounts also reveal that Scuderia Toro Rosso paid it £10.4m in 2009 – which a dramatic fall from the £14.2m of the previous year, when Vettel was still on board and the team had a car that could win races. However that reflects the fact for 2010 Toro Rosso had to build its own car and thus at some point in 2009 in effect stopped dealing with RBT.

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