One year on from the aerodynamic revolution that promised closer racing, the 2023 Formula One season should offer a better indication of how close that is to reality.
Last campaign was a step in the right direction for the series, but too often on-track battles were decided by the drag reduction system (DRS), first introduced to Formula One in 2011 to increase overtaking opportunities.
The hope this season is that complaints will relate solely to the topic of on-track action, with the sport’s politics threatening to overshadow the racing on countless occasions in recent years.
To combat this, International Automobile Federation (FIA) president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has decided to step back from Formula One, with newly installed single-seater director Nikolas Tombazis handling the day-to-day operations.
This should relax the atmosphere somewhat in the paddock, which has grown increasingly frustrated with the FIA meddling with Formula One issues. What still needs to be addressed is the organising body’s ability to provide clear communication to teams and fans on race weekends, with incidents at the Italian and Japanese Grands Prix last season drawing particular ire.
Whatever happens throughout the season, it will only be a matter of time before attention turns to the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix. With setup costs expected to pass US$500 million and Formula One promoting the event itself, the series will want to draw as much attention to the race as possible.
This season also sees the return of the Qatar Grand Prix, which made its debut in 2021 ahead of the start of a ten-year contract this year. One race that will be missing is the Chinese Grand Prix, despite its current contract with Formula One until 2025, as the country’s strict Covid restrictions made hosting the race in 2023 impractical.
BlackBook presents its annual rundown of all the commercial details you need to know.
Ferrari Trento, Lenovo, Liqui Moly
AlphaTauri, BBS Motorsport, Cyderes, Tata Communications
Owners: Longbow Finance (75%) and Audi (25%)
Chief executive: Andreas Seidl
Managing director: Alessandro Alunni Bravi (also team representative)
Drivers: Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu
Base: Hinwil, Switzerland
Power unit: Ferrari
Title sponsor: Stake (AUS$140 million, three-year deal, signed 2023)
Other partners: Accelleron, Additive Industries, AMX, Assos, AximTrade, Camozzi, Cielo, Ciesse Piumini, Code Zero, Corinthian Re, Curam Domi, Delsey, Edelweiss, Everdome, Ferrari Trento, GlobeAir, Hyland, JigSpace, Kick, Marelli, MindMaze, Mitsubishi Electric, Pirelli, Puma, Rebellion, R-M, Sabelt, Save the Children, Seagate, SenseTime, Singha, Socios, Walter Meier, Web Eyewear, WhistlePig
What they’ve been up to: This is set to be the last year of the Alfa Romeo name, as the Italian brand will conclude its partnership with Sauber at the end of this season. In its place, Audi is slowly embedding itself within the Swiss team ahead of its full debut in 2026.
Sauber confirmed in January that the German manufacturer has purchased a 25 per cent stake in the team, an investment likely to grow to a 75 per cent majority ownership by the time the Audi name likely enters Formula One in 2026.
It has been a busy offseason for Sauber, which also hired Andreas Seidl as chief executive to manage the transition. Before then, the company sealed a three-year title partnership with online casino Stake, which is reportedly paying the team AUS$140 million over the course of the deal.
New year, new dawn, new identity.
Say hello to Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake – a fresh identity for the team ahead of the 2023 #F1 season thanks to a new title partnership with one of the world’s leading entertainment and lifestyle brands, @Stake.
Tap to discover more. ⬇️ #GetCloser
— Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake (@alfaromeof1) January 27, 2023
Owner: Groupe Renault
Chief executive: Laurent Rossi
Team principal: Otmar Szafnauer
Drivers: Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon
Base: Enstone, UK
Power unit: Renault
Title sponsor: BWT (multi-year deal, signed 2022)
Other partners: 3D Systems, Alpinestars, Alpine Eyewear, Bell & Ross, Binance, Boeing, British Petroleum, Castrol, Delphi, Ecowatt, Elysium, Eurodatacar, The Global Center for Automotive Performance Simulation, Hexis, Kappa, Kway, KX, Matrix, Microsoft, Mobilize Financial Services, PerkinElmer, Pirelli, Plug, Renault E-Tech, Roland DG, Shamir, Sprinklr, Trak Racer, Yahoo
What they’ve been up to: Alpine were faced with the shock departure of Fernando Alonso at the end of last season, with the Spaniard opting to join rivals Aston Martin. The team has reacted by partnering Esteban Ocon with fellow Frenchman Pierre Gasly. An all-French lineup for a French team should be a commercially sound decision, but rumours of a tetchy relationship between the two drivers may make certain brands apprehensive about jumping on board, especially if Ocon’s history of clashing with teammates resurfaces.
Alpine will run an all-pink livery for the first three races of the season, before reverting to their traditional blue colours
Owner: Red Bull
Team principal: Franz Tost
Drivers: Nyck de Vries and Yuki Tsunoda
Base: Faenza, Italy
Power unit: Honda
Title sponsor: AlphaTauri
Principal partner: PKN Orlen (multi-year deal signed in 2023)
Other partners: Buzz, Carl Friedrik, Epicor, FlexBox, GMG, P448, Pirelli, Randstad, RapidAPI, Ravenol, Riedel, Siemens, XMTrading
What they’ve been up to: AlphaTauri are taking the unusual step of having a brand from outside the Red Bull family on their rear wing by signing a multi-year deal with Polish oil refiner PKN Orlen.
Perhaps highlighting the greater independence of the team, this is only the second time a brand not associated with Red Bull will have such prominent visibility. Even then, the previous brand, Cepsa, which appeared on the rear wing in the early 2010s, was heavily linked to the career of then Red Bull prospect Carlos Sainz Jr.
With Nyck De Vries joining the team for 2023, this is the first time a driver without prior links to the Red Bull junior academy will drive for either AlphaTauri or Toro Rosso.
Could we see Honda looking for greater involvement as it searches for a way back into the sport in 2026, perhaps even as a factory team?
PKN Orlen receives prominent branding on this year’s AlphaTauri, including on the halo and rear wing
Owner: Lawrence Stroll
Chief executive: Martin Whitmarsh
Team principal: Mike Krack
Drivers: Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll
Base: Silverstone, UK
Power unit: Mercedes
Title sponsor: Cognizant (up to UK£30 million per year, multi-year deal, signed 2021)
Principal partner: Aramco (multi-year deal, signed 2021)
Other partners: Alpinestars, AvaTrade, Bombardier, Boss, Citi, Crypto.com, ebb3, EPOS, Girard-Perregaux, Globe-Trotter, JCB, Juniper Networks, NetApp, Oakley, OGIO, Pelmark, Peroni, Pirelli, Porto Seguro, SentinelOne, Socios, Stilo, TikTok, XP
What they’ve been up to: Formula One’s first ever ‘smart factory’ is nearing completion, with the first section of Aston Martin’s new base set to be finalised in May 2023. Lawrence Stroll is serious about turning this operation into a leading team and, while it may be several years before the benefits of the factory are felt, the signing of two-time world champion Fernando Alonso highlights the ambition.
The team has also been very active in the commercial space during the offseason, signing deals with Citi, AvaTrade and Globe-Trotter. The team also showed its environmental commitment by achieving the ISO14001 Environmental Management Standard, adding to its three-star environmental accreditation awarded by the FIA.
Team principal: Frédéric Vasseur
Drivers: Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr
Base: Maranello, Italy
Power unit: Ferrari
Title sponsor: N/A
Other partners: AWS, Bang & Olufsen, Bell Helmets, Bitdefender, Brembo, CEVA Logistics, Ecopol, Estrella Galicia 0.0, Frecciarossa, Garrett, Genesys, Giorgio Armani, Harman Automotive, HCL Software, Iveco, Mahle, ManpowerGroup, Mission Winnow, NGK Spark Plugs, Öhlins Racing, OMR, Palantir, Pirelli, Puma, Ray-Ban, Richard Mille, Riedel, Riva, Sabelt, Santander, Shell, SKF, TechnoGym, VistaJet
What they’ve been up to: After a year that promised a fight for the title but culminated in Charles Leclerc securing second place in the standings at the final race of the season, change was required at Ferrari. Mattia Binotto departed as team principal after three years and the experienced Frédéric Vasseur has stepped in to steer the Italian team back on track.
Commercially, Ferrari have seen both Velas and Snapdragon end their contracts early, with the cancellation of the former rumoured to be leading to legal action. The historic team should have no problems filling the reported US$55 million hole left by the departures, but as of yet no major partnerships to replace them have been agreed.
Frédéric Vasseur has moved from Alfa Romeo to become Ferrari’s new team principal
Owner: Gene Haas
Team principal: Günther Steiner
Drivers: Nico Hülkenberg and Kevin Magnussen
Base: Kannapolis, US and Banbury, UK
Power unit: Ferrari
Title sponsor: MoneyGram (up to US$20 million per year, three-year deal, signed 2022)
Other partners: Alpinestars, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Haas Automation, Haas Tooling, Hantec Markets, Oakberry, OpenSea, Palm Angels, Pirelli, Schuberth, Taittinger, TravisMathew, Tricorp Workwear
What they’ve been up to: Haas will have a new title sponsor for 2023 after signing a deal with MoneyGram worth US$20 million per year. The three-year contract will reportedly see the American team operate at the budget cap, something it has not been able to do before due to lack of funding.
The team will hope that this partnership proves less controversial than its previous deals with Uralkali and Rich Energy. However, the team is increasingly attractive to American brands, with the likes of Chipotle Mexican Grill and TravisMathew signing up with the team recently.
— MoneyGram Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) February 11, 2023
Owners: McLaren Group and MSP Sports Capital (minority owner)
Chief executive: Zak Brown
Team principal: Andrea Stella
Drivers: Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri
Base: Woking, UK
Power unit: Mercedes
Title sponsor: N/A
Principal partner: OKX (multi-year deal, signed 2022)
Other partners: AkzoNobel-Sikkens, Alteryx, Arrow Electronics, Android, Ashurst, British American Tobacco, Cadence, Castore, Chrome, CNBC, Coca-Cola, Darktrace, Dell Technologies, Deloitte, DeWalt, DP World, EasyPost, FAI Aviation Group, FxPro, Goldman Sachs, Gopuff, Hilton, Immersive Labs, Jack Daniel’s, KAUST, Logitech, Medallia, Mind, PartyCasino, PartyPoker, Pirelli, Richard Mille, Smartsheet, Sparco, Splunk, Stratasys, SunGod, Tezos, TUMI, Unilever, VMware, Webex by Cisco
What they’ve been up to: This season will see the fruits of last year’s prolonged contract wrangling with Alpine, as the highly rated Oscar Piastri will debut for McLaren. It’s reported that the team paid Daniel Ricciardo US$15 million to switch him out for his younger compatriot, but McLaren will also be missing out on the commercial popularity of the Aussie. Despite not having a spot on the Formula One grid, he still appeared on the The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to help promote Formula One to the US audience.
The team is still securing deals at a high rate, though, with the likes of Jack Daniel’s and K-Swiss agreeing deals last season for the start of 2023. Most recently, former Renault title sponsor DP World has joined the team to support McLaren’s logistics operation.
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) February 13, 2023
Owner: Daimler AG (33 per cent), Ineos (33 per cent), Toto Wolff (33 per cent)
Chief executive: Toto Wolff (also team principal)
Drivers: Lewis Hamilton and George Russell
Base: Brackley, UK
Power unit: Mercedes
Title partner: Petronas (up to US$75 million per year, extended beyond 2026 in 2022)
Principal partner: Ineos (UK£20 million a year, signed 2019, expires 2024)
Other partners: Akkodis, AMD, CrowdStrike, Eight Sleep, Einhell, Endless Brake Technology Europe AB, Fastly, G42, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IWC Schaffhausen, Marriott Bonvoy, mCloud, Monster Energy, Nuvei, OZ Racing, Pirelli, Police, Puma, Pure Storage, Sherwin Williams, Snapdragon, Solera, TeamViewer, Tommy Hilfiger, UBS
What they’ve been up to: The Brackley-based team endured a difficult 2022, with its on-track performance leaving Lewis Hamilton and George Russell rarely able to fight near the front. Off the track, Mercedes were one of the high-profile sports teams to lose out from the collapse of FTX, which had a partnership with the Formula One outfit.
Recent partnerships have been secured with Nuvei, Qualcomm and G42, and the team has returned to an all-black livery. That can double up as a weight-saving exercise and a vehicle through which Hamilton can continue his activism in the face of the FIA’s efforts to clamp down on drivers’ freedom to speak.
Mercedes have switched back to an all-black livery for the 2023 season, the same colour scheme the team used in 2020 and 2021 in support of diversity and equality
Red Bull Racing
Owner: Red Bull
Chief executive: Christian Horner (also team principal)
Drivers: Sergio Pérez and Max Verstappen
Base: Milton Keynes, UK
Power unit: Honda
Title sponsor: Oracle (US$300 million in total, signed 2022, expires 2026)
Other partners: AlphaTauri, Ansys, Arctic Wolf, Armor All, AT&T, Blenders Eyewear, BMC, Built for Athletes, Bybit, Cash App, Castore, Claro, DMG Mori, Gold Standard, Hard Rock, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Hexagon, Inter.mx, Mobil 1, New Era, Ocean Bottle, Pirelli, PokerStars, Poly, PWR, Rauch, Rokt, Siemens, Tag Heuer, Telcel, Therabody, Walmart, Zoom
What they’ve been up to: On the back of securing their first constructors’ championship since 2013, Red Bull are the team to beat. While Honda is returning in a technical support capacity, the big news that developed during the offseason is that the Milton Keynes-based team will be partnering with US auto giant Ford from the 2026 campaign.
2023 marks the first year of Castore’s supply deal with the team, adding to the company’s existing Formula One deal with McLaren. This will also be the second year of Red Bull’s five-year, US$300 million contract with Oracle – although most of the season will be spent under restrictions following the team’s breach of the financial regulations last season.
— Oracle Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) February 5, 2023
Owner: Dorilton Capital
Team principal: James Vowles
Drivers: Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant
Base: Grove, UK
Power unit: Mercedes
Title sponsor: N/A
Other partners: Acronis, Bremont, Broadcom Software, Crew Clothing Company, Dorilton Ventures, Dtex, Duracell, Financial Times, Gulf, KX, Life Fitness, Michelob Ultra, OMP, Pirelli, PPG, PureStream, Spinal Injuries Association, Stephens, Umbro, Zeiss
What they’ve been up to: After conducting an interview with Forbes looking ahead to the future, it was a surprise to see chief executive Jost Capito retire during the offseason, leaving Williams with the unenviable task of finding a replacement.
Mercedes motorsport strategy director James Vowles was eventually appointed his replacement, with the existing communication channels between Mercedes and Williams likely making the decision a more straightforward one. His lack of experience at the top level will be put under the microscope this season, especially with the rumoured financial difficulties currently facing the Grove-based team.
Rookie driver Logan Sargeant has become the first graduate of the Williams young driver programme, although this is to replace pay driver Nicholas Latifi, who leaves with a significant portion of funding. The recent multi-year deal agreed with Gulf is likely only a fraction of this lost funding, with reports placing it in the region of US$4 million per year.
Major broadcast partners
Africa and the Middle East
MENA: MBC Action
Sub-Saharan Africa: SuperSport
Brunei, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste: BeIN Sports
Chinese Taipei: Videoland
South Korea: Coupang Play
Andorra, Spain: F1 DAZN
Armenia: Vivaro Sports
Austria: Servus TV, ORF
Azerbaijan: AzTV, Idman Azerbaycan
Belgium: RTBF, Telenet, Play Sports
Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia: SportKlub
Bulgaria: Nova, Diema Sport
Czech Republic, Slovakia: AMC
Denmark: TV3+, TV3 Sport, Viaplay
Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland: Viaplay
Eurasia: Setanta Sports
Germany: Sky Deutschland, RTL
Greece: ERT, Cosmote TV
Italy: Sky Italia
Luxembourg: RTL Tele Letzebuerg
Malta: Go Sports
Norway: V Sport 1, V Sport +, Viaplay
Portugal: Sport TV
Romania: Digisport, Telekom Romania, Look Sport
Russia: Match TV
Sweden: V Sport Motor, Viaplay, TV10
Switzerland: SRF, RSI, RTS
Turkey: S Sport, S Sport Plus
Ukraine: Setanta Ukraine
United Kingdom: Sky Sports, Channel 4
Canada: RDS, RDS2, TSN, Noovo
US: ESPN, ESPN Deportes
Australia: Fox Sports Channels, Network Ten
New Zealand: Sky New Zealand
Papua New Guinea, Pacific Islands: TVWAN Sports
Central and South America
Argentina: Fox Sports
Mexico: Fox Sports Mexico
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