Mercedes F1 sees 2021 profits increase by US$61m

Cost cap sees team’s profits rise from UK£13.6m in 2020 to UK£68.8m in 2021.

Mercedes F1 sees 2021 profits increase by US$61m

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  • Overall company headcount falls from 1,063 to 1,004
  • Design, manufacturing and engineering has lost 75 employees in a year
  • Team benefitted from a 23.6% share of TV coverage last season

Mercedes have published their full accounts for the 2021 season, which saw the Formula One team increase its profits by UK£55 million (US$61 million).

Thanks in part to the sport's new financial regulations, which last season included a US$145 million cost cap, the Brackley-based team is now spending far less on its operations, which resulted in profits increasing from UK£13.6 million (US$15 million) in 2020 to UK£68.8 million (US$76 million) in 2021. It's also worth noting that 2020 was heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The large reduction in spending is laid bare by the fact that the team’s revenue only increased from UK£355.3 million (US$392.5 million) to UK£383.3 million (US$423.5 million) over the one-year period, equivalent to around half the overall increase in profits.

Mercedes largely attributed the increase in turnover to higher sponsorship and applied science income.

The team also claimed the new financial regulations required ‘significant efforts to restructure the organisation to ensure full compliance from 2021’.

This saw the total staff employed in design, manufacturing and engineering - the departments most directly affected by the budget cap - fall from 906 in 2020 to 831 in 2021. The overall headcount at Mercedes fell from 1,063 to 1,004.

In contrast, the total employees in administration – a department not restricted by the budget cap – rose from 157 to 173 in 2021.

However, it’s important to note that expenditure on wages and salaries actually increased by UK£2.73 million (US$3 million) from UK£93.35 million (US$103.13 million) to UK£96.08 million (US$106.15 million).

During the 2021 season, Mercedes benefitted from a 23.6 per cent share of television coverage, which generated a cumulative television Advertising Value Equivalent (AVE) of US$6.46 million for their commercial partners.

One of those partners was Ineos, and the financial accounts reveal the global chemicals company officially became a one-third shareholder of the team on 25th January 2022, despite the deal being revealed on 18th December 2020.

Also, on 17th February 2022, the capital purchase of the team’s Brackley site was approved. The site was purchased by Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Estates, a wholly owned subsidiary, with 50 per cent of the purchase being financed externally.

The full accounts also confirmed the team’s continued efforts to diversify though its Accelerate 25 programme. In 2021, 38 per cent of new employees came from under-represented groups. Female employees rose from 12 to 14 per cent, and employees from minority ethnic groups rose from three to six per cent.

Furthermore, the team is continuing to strive for net-zero status by 2030, with the report claiming the organisation is on track to reduce its CO2 footprint by 50 per cent by the end of 2022, something the team has already exceeded this season.