• Loading stock data...
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -

Formula One Is Back After a Particularly Spicy Offseason

  • F1 begins its 2024 season with Saturday’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
  • The 2023 season set revenue records, and the offseason brought the drama.
Max Verstappen. Christian Horner
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Formula One begins its longest season ever Saturday, with the Bahrain Grand Prix kicking off a 24-race schedule that will include the circuit’s return to China for the first time since the pandemic.

All of that should set up yet another record year for F1, after annual revenue surpassed $3 billion for the first time in 2023. That was thanks in part to the wildly successful debut of the Las Vegas Grand Prix, which will take another spin around the Strip in November. But since the ’23 campaign ended, it’s been an offseason filled with plenty of twists and turns, all leading up to this weekend’s return.

From the Executive Suite

After dominating both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships last year, Red Bull became the talk of the offseason for a different reason. Allegations of inappropriate behavior levied against team principal Christian Horner by a female Red Bull employee brought his future with the organization into question. This week, Red Bull, without revealing any significant details, announced an independent investigation cleared Horner of any wrongdoing. But the drama continued, with Horner having to speak out Thursday after files purportedly related to his misconduct investigation were emailed to hundreds of F1, FIA, and team officials. On Friday, Horner met with F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali and FIA boss president Mohammed Ben Sulayem separately to discuss the ongoing controversy surrounding him, per ESPN.

Meanwhile, Toto Wolff signed a three-year extension to remain team principal at Mercedes. His salary is not public, but Wolff owns 33% of the F1 team, which Forbes most recently valued at $3.8 billion. At Haas, founding team principal Guenther Steiner’s contract was not renewed, but there’s good news for any Drive to Survive fans who have enjoyed his energetic personality on the grid and Netflix series alike: German F1 broadcaster RTL has tapped Steiner as a commentator this season.

Behind the Wheel

No drivers have changed teams for the 2024 season, but there is an impending shift creating tension on the F1 grid. Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has already agreed to leave Mercedes after this season to join Ferrari in ’25, creating lame-duck years for himself and the driver he’ll replace, Carlos Sainz. Hamilton’s ’23 salary was $55 million, per Forbes, and some reports out of Europe estimate his multiyear Ferrari deal to be worth more than $400 million, between salary and other benefits.

Media Madness

The sixth season of Drive to Survive is out, and like other editions of the series, Netflix is being criticized for some overdramatization of some events. Now three-time defending champion Max Verstappen famously refused to participate in the show’s fourth season, which chronicled his first title in 2021, due to his portrayal in previous seasons.

While ESPN enters the second season of its three-year U.S. media-rights deal believed to be worth $85 million annually, F1 just completed a 10-year pact with beIN Sports for broadcast rights in the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey that multiple reports are saying is worth $500 million in total.

Call It What You Want

With sponsor dollars key for F1 team operations, official squad names change all the time as new financial backers arrive—and this year is no different. Welcome to the grid, Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber and Visa Cash App RB Formula One Team. Rolls off the tongue nicely, huh? 

“I know people are going to shorten it and I’ve already heard RB and whatever,” said Daniel Ricciardo, who drives for the latter. “I will say ‘Do as you wish,’ but you’ll hear me say ‘Visa Cash App RB.’” Spoken like a true … spokesperson.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Knicks’ Resurgence Marks Peak in Dolan’s Sports Domain

The team’s on-court success is fueling a series of gains off it.

States Want Tax Reform As Ohtani’s Deal Deferrals Stir Controversy

California legislators heighten their push for new tax rules around deferred compensation.

Wrexham, Leverkusen Write Hollywood Stories

The guaranteed payoff for Wrexham is modest but still significant.

Fever Keeping Plans Quiet (for Now), Unlike Spurs and Blackhawks

The Fever’s business approach differs from recent rookie phenoms in other leagues.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Inside the Most-Hyped WNBA Draft in History


Featured Today

Women’s Basketball Finally Has a TV Deal to Match the Excitement. Now What?

A lucrative new media-rights contract could rectify problems of the past, but the future of March Madness media rights is anyone’s guess.
Mar 16, 2024; Washington, D.C., USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack forward DJ Burns Jr. (30) cuts the net after defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels for the ACC Conference Championship at Capital One Arena.
April 6, 2024

How Two College Seniors Helped DJ Burns Cash In on a Final Four Run

Two college seniors are facilitating deals for NC State’s big man.
Mar 31, 2024; Portland, OR, USA; NCAA officials measure the three point line while coaches from the Texas Longhorns and NC State Wolfpack watch with referees in the finals of the Portland Regional of the NCAA Tournament at the Moda Center center.
April 1, 2024

NCAA Has No One to Blame for Latest Women’s March Madness Transgressions

NCAA is still making avoidable mistakes three years after a complete overhaul.
Nov 16, 2015; Bloomington, IN, USA; General view of the championship banners at Assembly Hall prior to the game between Austin Peay and Indiana.
March 31, 2024

How to Make It in Basketball: Become a Manager at Indiana

Inside the Hoosiers’ unglamorous, profoundly rewarding incubator for basketball’s biggest names.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers
Dunham's Sports
Multiple - USA Careers

Caitlin Clark’s WNBA Chapter Officially Opens as No. 1 Overall Pick

Clark’s professional career is starting as a member of the Indiana Fever.
April 15, 2024

Out of Her ‘Comfort Zone’: SNL Starts Caitlin Clark’s Whirlwind Draft Weekend

‘The Today Show,’ ESPN, and an Empire State Building photo opp.
April 15, 2024

NBA’s Two Tourneys Drive Record Attendance

Total attendance for the 2023–24 season, which ended Sunday, was 22,538,518.

Rapid Returns: How Technology Is Getting You Back to Your Seat

How Oracle’s POS technology is helping fans get back to their seats faster.
April 14, 2024

Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark Should Make a WNBA Roster. Their Teammates Didn’t

The draft could mark a significant financial turning point for the WNBA.
April 14, 2024

NFL’s Expanded Helmet Options Come With a Perk: More Merch

Teams can now add a third helmet design to their overall look.
April 14, 2024

Another Green Jacket and $3.6M: Scottie Scheffler Wins the Masters

The Masters offered a tournament record purse of $20 million this year.
April 13, 2024

Everything You Need to Know About the PGA Tour, LIV Golf, and Any Potential Merger

The two tours remain far apart despite previous efforts to come together.