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GP Week : Issue 176
T en years ago few people in Formula One would have believed that in future a team owned by a drinks company would have all the car manufacturers in the sport at its knees. However this is exactly what Red Bull has done as, against all the odds, it has dominated F1 for the third season running. What is perhaps most surprising is that although Red Bull’s core business is nothing to do with F1, its success in the sport has not been achieved by simply pouring money into it. A smart business plan has been the recipe for its results. F1 cars are largely designed the year before they are introduced so the best way to get an understanding of the money behind Red Bull Racing’s 2012 title campaign is to look at how much it spent in 2011. Last year the team had total costs of £176.2m which were up 11% on 2010. Unsurprisingly, research and development was one of its biggest single expenses and the team’s parent company, Red Bull Technology, spent £69.9m on it last year. Red Bull Technology does some marketing for Red Bull itself and also makes gearboxes for Caterham but its core business is designing Red Bull Racing’s F1 car which accounts for the vast majority of its research and development spending. After research and development, the second- biggest expense was paying staff and this is also covered by Red Bull Technology. Last year it employed 605 staff with 249 in design, 249 in racing and administration and 107 in administration. They were paid a total of £51.2m with the highest-paid director of the team, believed to be team principal Christian Horner, on an annual salary of £1.3m. Together, staff salaries and research and development spending represented 69.4% of the total costs which gives a good idea of where the team is spending the majority of its money. It is just as easy to work out where its money is coming from. Red Bull Racing had total income of £176.8m last year and around £55m of this came from prize money for winning the constructors’ championship in 2010. Sponsors provided an estimated £37m with high-end car manufacturer Infiniti believed to be the biggest payer. The bulk of the remaining income comes from Red Bull which gave the team £84.5m last year – a drop of 40 GPWEEK.com // 40 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> FEATURE