Formula One, also known as F1, is one of the world’s most popular and prestigious motorsport events. The adrenaline-pumping races, cutting-edge technology, and glamorous lifestyle associated with F1 have captivated audiences worldwide for decades. But did you know from the logistics to hosting races to the development of the race cars, Formula 1 is one of the most financially impactful sports.
Formula 1 is renowned for its luxury and extravagance. What better way to showcase this than in one of the most luxurious sovereign city-states and microstates on the French Riviera - Monaco? The Monaco Grand Prix, a staple event in Formula 1 since 1929, lures the world’s most prestigious drivers and the most glamorous spectators. While many events on the Formula 1 calendar, such as those held in Texas, Singapore, Mexico, and Abu Dhabi, pay a hefty annual fee of between $25 million to $35 million for the privilege of hosting their races, Monaco pays only a fraction of that amount, allowing them to keep the majority of the $100 million-plus in economic activity generated during race week for themselves. Even host cities that pay hefty fee profit off of the races. The Mexican and Singaporean Grand Prix are lucrative tourism drivers for their respective host cities. By leveraging destination branding, these events have generated significant global media exposure and attracted many international visitors. For instance, the Mexican Grand Prix has produced over $5.5 billion MXN in media coverage, boosting hotel occupancy rates by 12%. During the Grand Prix, Mexico City witnessed a 12% rise in hotel occupancy in 4 and 5-star hotels, and visitors spent an average of £1,600 over the weekend (excluding tickets). The Singapore Grand Prix has welcomed more than 450,000 international visitors, contributing around $1.4 billion in tourism receipts. Moving forward, Formula 1 has added the notorious “Sin City” to its roster of host cities.
Applied Analysis recently conducted a study that projects the Las Vegas Grand Prix as a significant economic driver for the city. The event, set to take place as the second-to-last round of this year’s F1 season on the famous Las Vegas Strip, is expected to generate nearly $1 billion in visitor spending. The projected figure includes $966 million in F1 visitor spending and $316 million in event operations and support costs. The Las Vegas Grand Prix will attract visitors worldwide, who will spend money on accommodations, transportation, dining, shopping, and other entertainment activities. The economic benefits will extend beyond the hospitality and tourism industries, benefiting many businesses. Approximately 100,000 spectators are expected to attend the event every day, starting from the first practice on November 16, leading to the race on November 18. By joining Miami and the Circuit of the Americas as the only American locations to host a grand prix, the Las Vegas Grand Prix will firmly establish the city as a prominent player in the worldwide motorsports arena.
F1, with its great power, has taken the green lead, and all eyes are on them. A cultural shift towards prioritizing the environmental impact of the sport and the goal of achieving Net Zero Carbon by 2030 has been in the works. This means that every decision and initiative taken by F1 now considers its impact on the environment. F1 is beginning to implement fundamental changes, such as reducing single-use plastics at the circuit venues and within the paddock. This has been achieved by promoting reusable bottles and increasing the number of water stations available. Furthermore, there is a concerted effort to reuse, recycle, or repurpose the materials used during race weekends. Many circuits have begun forming partnerships with local food banks and charities to donate excess food to those in need in their communities. Hospitality across the event, including F1 teams, supports this group effort. For example, after the 2020 Australian Grand Prix was canceled, over 1.5 tons of surplus food were donated to 17 charities in the state of Victoria.
Formula 1 has proven to be one of the most thrilling and exciting sports and one of the most financially impactful. From the luxury and extravagance associated with the sport to the economic benefits it brings to host cities, the impact of Formula 1 cannot be overstated. The cultural shift towards prioritizing the environment is a crucial step in ensuring the longevity and sustainability of the sport. F1's initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint and give back to its communities demonstrate the sport's commitment to a greener future!