Formula 1 Constructors’ Champions Red Bull led the way in prize money earnings for the 2023 campaign, receiving an estimated $140 million.
F1 is many things; sport, entertainment and business and there is often an overlap between all three affecting any decision made in the series.
That is no truer than when it comes to the allocation of prize money, with teams rewarded according to where they finish in the Constructors’ standings.
Whilst the official figures aren’t released to the public, estimates calculated by Motorsport.com based on a $1 billion prize pot yield an indication as to what each team received.
Unsurprisingly, Red Bull is leading the way with an estimated $140 million in prize money earnings thanks to the Milton Keynes-based outfit’s supremacy this season.
Having scored more than double the points of second in the Constructors’ Standings (Red Bull finished with 860 points, Mercedes finished with 409 points), Red Bull’s estimated earnings see the team essentially recoup the entirety of cost cap spending for 2023, which stood at $135 million for the season.
Mercedes clinched second in the standings on the final day of the 2023 season in Abu Dhabi, rewarding the Brackley squad an estimated $131 million in prize money.
Ferrari, however, was pipped by Mercedes to the tune of three points and thus only received an estimated $122 million slice of the prize bot.
The Scuderia will receive one benefit over Mercedes. The Italian squad’s financial loss is its development gain, as the current rules in F1 allow a sliding scale in wind-tunnel testing, with teams finishing lower in the order granted more time to develop in the wind-tunnel compared to the teams finishing above them.
For Ferrari, that means a marginal advantage over Mercedes in wind tunnel testing (an estimated 7%), somewhat easing the Italian marque’s disappointment.
McLaren’s meteoric rise from lowly, back-of-the-grid strugglers on the fringe of the points to genuine podium contenders throughout 2023 has been nothing short of remarkable.
The Woking-based entry’s impressive rate of development has awarded the team an estimated $113 million in prize money.
At the start of the year, McLaren’s pace was nowhere as it awaited a newly developed car after going in the wrong direction during winter testing.
Ferrari jumped out of the starting gates with reliability issues and Mercedes had failed once again to extract performance from its ‘zeropod’ concept carried over from the W13.
The struggles for those select teams allowed Aston Martin to start the year as Red Bull’s nearest challenger, with the rejuvenated Fernando Alonso scoring a string of podiums.
However, a series of factors played into the Silverstone-based squad slipping to fifth in the Constructors’ Championship.
Missteps with upgrades, falling behind rivals in the development race and Lance Stroll’s inability to haul points in the same fashion as his uber-experienced teammate meant the team adorned in British Racing Green wound up with a $104 million prize.
(L to R): Pierre Gasly (FRA) Alpine F1 Team A523 and Esteban Ocon (FRA) Alpine F1 Team A523 battle for position. 18.11.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 22, Las Vegas Grand Prix, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, Race Day.
Next up in the standings was Alpine, with the Anglo-French outfit having a tumultuous campaign on and off the track in 2023.
Having finished fourth in last year’s standings, Alpine set a target of closing the gap on the top three teams: Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari.
However, Aston Martin’s progress and McLaren’s mid-season development saw Alpine slip back down the pecking order, leading to a raft of changes in senior management ahead of the summer break and a series of intra-team battles on track caused issues as well.
With sixth in the standings secured, Alpine is estimated to have received $95 million in prize money.
Williams showed signs of progress in 2023 under the stewardship of new Team Principal James Vowles, who arrived over the winter from his long-standing role at Mercedes.
The Grove-based outfit produced another inconsistent car, but with an in-form Alex Albon leading the way on the driving front, Williams extracted the best of the opportunities that came its way, scoring 28 points and seventh in the Constructors’ standings, resulting in a $87 million prize.
AlphaTauri struggled with what was arguably the least competitive machine at the start of the year and employed four drivers over the course of the 2023 season.
However, a series of upgrades as the team began to strengthen its technical partnership with sister team Red Bull saw a slight improvement towards the end of the year.
AlphaTauri’s three-point deficit to Williams has cost the Faenza squad an estimated $9 million in prize money, as the team received $78 million compared to Williams’ $87 million.
Alfa Romeo endured an uncompetitive year, following on from a lacklustre second half to the 2022 season that saw it tail away to seventh in the championship order.
The Hinwil-based squad will be rebranded as Sauber in 2024 as it awaits a full Audi takeover in 2026 and will enter next season with an estimated $69 million in prize money.
Haas introduced a Red-Bull-inspired B-spec car in the United States, but that didn’t stop the team from eradicating its season-long Achilles’ heel related to tyre degradation.
Haas’ woes resulted in a haul of 12 points, four less than ninth-placed Alfa Romeo (16) and landing the outfit at the bottom of the Constructors’ table.
The American-based squad is one of the lesser-funded teams in the paddock and its poor results in 2023 yielded the smallest sum of prize money, an estimated $60 million.
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