- Thus the Canadian fashion billionaire, who had assembled an impressive team of co-investors, jostled his way into pole position, effectively being granted first refusal on the team, an option he duly exercised on a “going concern” basis.
As detailed here, that option could not be completed due to the intransigence of, amongst others, 13 Indian banks, so the sale was hastily switched to an asset-based purchase – a process currently being disputed by the Uralkali syndicate, and said to be challenging FRP’s decision in the courts.
However, Force India’s payroll provides an interesting insight into the costs of running an F1 operation: We know, for example, that the company employed around 400 full-time staff at time of administration; hence an average monthly salary of £5,500, or £66,000 per annum (excluding bonuses).
We can safely assume that Force India could not afford top dollar wages, whereas Mercedes F1, situated just 10 miles up the road, has a flush parent company, receives massive F1 bonuses and is sponsor-rich – so the average wage is likely to be 10 per cent up, so around £72,000 per annum (£6,000/month), before win bonuses. We also know from company filings that Mercedes F1 employs 800 heads, so simple mathematics point to a monthly payroll of £4.8m or £57.6m before bonuses. That pans out at nearly £60m in wages, to race two cars for two hours on 20 Sundays, or £1.2m per hour. Expressed differently, That equals a wage bill of £3m per grand prix, or £50,000 per lap completed, assuming both cars finish…
Add to that £2m/race for Lewis Hamilton and maybe £0.5m/race for Valtteri Bottas... I think I follow F1 more out of fascination for the economic side of it than the on-track racing these days. Although Charles Leclerc moving to Ferrari has me hoping for a three-way title fight in the coming seasons.