$4,378,133 – the price of a point in 2008

Kimi Raikkonen scored one point in Melbourne, which cost Ferrari $2.4m in 2008

Kimi Raikkonen scored one point in Melbourne, which cost Ferrari $2.4m in 2008

Ferrari is the F1 team that made the best use of its budget in 2008. The constructors’ champions spent $2.4m per point this year – less than any of its rivals.

At the other end of the scale, Force India and Super Aguri (deceased) failed to score at all, giving no return on their comparatively meagre budgets. Honda spent almost 12 times as much per point scored as Ferrari. Full breakdown below.

Team Estimated 2008 budget* Points $ per point
Ferrari $414,900,000.00 172 $2,412,209.30
BMW $366,800,000.00 135 $2,717,037.04
McLaren $433,300,000.00 151 $2,869,536.42
Toro Rosso $128,200,000.00 39 $3,287,179.49
Renault $393,800,000.00 80 $4,922,500.00
Red Bull $164,700,000.00 29 $5,679,310.34
Williams $160,600,000.00 26 $6,176,923.08
Toyota $445,600,000.00 56 $7,957,142.86
Honda $398,100,000.00 14 $28,435,714.29
Force India F1 Team $121,850,000.00 0 n/a
Super Aguri $45,600,000.00 0 n/a

*Source: Formula Money

As Red Bull and Toro Rosso are run by the same company, we can take their totals together: for a combined $292.9m they scored a total of 68 points, costing $4.3m per point.

Interestingly, that is very close to the average paid per point by all the F1 teams combined: $4,378,133.90.

In a closely-fought season, Ferrari spent half a million dollars more per point than it did in 2007. BMW, reflecting its progress, spent over half a million less than it did last year. More information: 2007 F1 teams budgets versus points scored.

But with the global recession putting the squeeze on F1 sponsors, will teams still be able to spend these astronomical sums in the future?

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16 comments on $4,378,133 – the price of a point in 2008

  1. AussieLeb said on 9th November 2008, 12:33

    Hi guys,

    I have to say that at first I thought these numbers where phenomenal but on further reflection I realised they are slightly flawed. Not in pure mathematical terms but rather in rational terms. I’m not sure of the exact figure but I suggest that there needs to be an offset applied or baseline figure applied that would esssentially exclude teams that earned no points i.e. the “also rans”.

    In other words there should be a figure applied (subtracted) for the cost of having a car on the track, before you can really determine who got the best value for money.

    It made sense when I thought about it….since having written it though the lines have become a little blurred!

  2. Richard said on 9th November 2008, 12:35

    Despite toyota’s and honda’s recent lack of competitiveness with budgets like those the impending rule changes are starting to look more into the favour of the giant manufacturers

  3. Robert McKay said on 9th November 2008, 13:53

    $2.4m per point. One wonders how much the reward per points as per defined in the Concorde Agreement compares to that.

  4. Richard said on 9th November 2008, 14:24

    I also think with red bull’s relatively small budget it might, unfortunately take a while before we see a repeat of monza with a vettle win

  5. Honda were $28m compared to ferrari’s $2m per point….
    The Concorde Agreement runs out in 2012

  6. Oliver said on 9th November 2008, 17:41

    AussieLeb, I was just thinking the very same thing. Apparently, ForceIndia and Super Aguri spent and infinite amount per point. This is more a flaw in Mathematics and Statistics. The solution I think would be to award every team a nominal point for participating.

    The alternative route of establishing a base team unit comprising essential staff and the associated budgets for salaries, travel expenses and etc, might not necessarily be correct, as teams have different pay packages for their staff.

  7. Patrickl said on 9th November 2008, 20:10

    This doesn’t account for which season the teams spent the budget on. For instance Renault and McLaren spent a lot of money towards the 2008 season at the end of this season. Honda seems to have switched to 2009 after the first race and BMW halfway through the season.

    So a lot of the Honda budget might actually translate into points next year.

  8. michael counsell said on 10th November 2008, 0:59

    This article is pointless…

    You are dividing the teams’ yearly budget by an abstract performance indicator. E.g Ferrari are not $414,900,000.00 worse off than they were last season. A large amount of that money is sponsorship which they would not if the did not race and perform, and the rest comes from car sales which are boosted by the teams presence is F1.

  9. Interesting analysis Keith. I was wondering how much of these formula 1 budgets come from the side of the sponsors ?

  10. John Spencer said on 10th November 2008, 11:48

    Despite what we were taught at school (and what your calculator may still tell you), division by zero is ‘undefined’ rather than giving infinity. That still presents a problem as to how to assess Force India’s performance – was it worthless for their sponsors?

    It’s easier to rate a team’s performance by stripping the quantitative aspect, and comparing them by rank. By contrasting a team’s rank in the constructors championship with their rank in the spending league, we can see how effectively they spend money.

    Honda has the worst performance, from fourth in the spending league to ninth in the constructor’s championship.

    Toyota is next, #1 in spending, but 4 places lower in the manufacturers’, at fifth.

    Four teams are at the same position in the spending league and the constructors’ table – McLaren, Red Bull, Williams and Force India

    Renault is fifth in the spending league, but finished 1 place higher – fourth – in the constructors

    Ferrari finished two places ahead of their spending position – obviously first in the constructors but only third in spending.

    BMW and Toro Rosso both finished 3 places higher in the constructors than in the spending league.

    In terms of bang per buck, I would rank the teams:

    1. BMW
    2. Torro Rosso
    3. Ferrari
    4. Renault
    5. McLaren
    6. Red Bull
    7. Williams
    8. Force India
    9. Toyota
    10 Honda

    However, there are other measures of exposure (eg in terms of TV coverage) which I can’t find a link to, and which the teams use to persuade their sponsors what good value for money they’re getting.

    You could argue that Torro Rosso and Red Bull are really one big superteam, and should be considered together, but even their combined budget leaves them at the same place as Red Bull in the spending league.

  11. John H said on 10th November 2008, 13:32

    Interesting article. But the 1pt more Hamilton got compared to Massa was certainly worth more than $4.4m!

  12. Very true, John H :D Santander having that slightly smug tone in their new advert is priceless…

  13. In the Defence of the Japanese Marquees on the grid I can say one thing, their Formula1 management is German in Case of Toyota and British in case of Honda, and sometimes I get feeling that the British and German management have taken the Japanese auto giants for a ride.

    The Japanese Bosses should take page from Carlos Ghosn’s book and the relation of Renault with their F1 team.

    If I was part of Japanese management I would have pulled plug on the F1 operations

  14. John W said on 11th November 2008, 10:41

    You are forgetting the most important factor.. The FOM monies. This is the slice of the TV / media revenue that is distributed amongst the teams, for each point earnt.

    I urge you to draw that chart up (income), then overlay it with the chart on this page showing expenditure.. Now that would be interesting!

  15. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 11th November 2008, 10:55

    John W – Presumably the teams factor that in when planning their budgets. I’ve never seen figures for how much money FOM gives each of the teams, I’d be very interested to see it if you have them.

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