Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali believes the sport is well-placed to withstand the impact of a recession and Britain and Europe which economists have warned about.
The series’ commercial rights holder is based in the UK, along with most of its teams, the rest of which have their bases in other European countries. Nine of the 24 races of the 2023 F1 calendar will take place in Europe.
The Bank of England last weekend warned the UK faces its longest recession since records began and fears of a downturn in the European Union are also growing.
Addressing investors in F1’s parent company Liberty Media last week, Domenicali said the series is keeping an eye on developments but believes it can weather the expected recession.
“First of all, being a world championship, we can spread around the world the risk of having this kind of situation to manage,” he said. “On the other hand, the fact that we have long-term agreements will reduce the exposure to this risk.
“What I can say and share with you is that we already see an incredible number of preregistration with regards to the ticketing of next year. So this is a good sign.”
Domenicali acknowledged that “in Europe, where I’m living, it is clear that this recession is taking place. But I think that the way that we are structured, the way that we have done the deals will protect us and will enable us to move forward in this direction.
“Therefore I would say this kind of situation lets us think that we should be optimistic in this context that, of course, we monitor. But this is what we see today.”
F1 has seen continued growth in audiences attending its races during 2022. Domenicali says F1 will increase its earnings in the future by exploiting its rising popularity.
“The attendance increase is just magnificent in terms of what Formula 1 is bringing mainly to new audiences,” he said. “And that is true that the business model we are having with certain promoters is more related to the fact that there is a fee that they have to pay, there is the high-end Paddock Club that is on our side.
“And there’s – not a challenge – but the big opportunity to move forward is how we can maximise the revenue and monetise the revenue that we can take from the fact that Formula 1 has become more and more attractive. That’s really what we’re going to do in the future.
“We have a different way to do it, and I’m sure that we’re going to capitalise this growth in the best way that we can in the next couple of years.”
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