Red Bull spent a record $310 million to race in F1 last year
That sum represents just what the team itself spent for the year, and doesn't include how much it took in from sponsorship and prize money. Add those in, and you're looking upwards of $450 million. This compared to Ferrari, which ran its F1 team last year on a budget of under $440 million, and Mercedes, which had a much smaller (but still hardly negligible) budget of just over $320 million, which proved more than enough to dominate the championship.
Of Red Bull's own $310 million expenditure, the largest portion – roughly $120 million – was naturally spent on research and development. Developing a competitive car doesn't come cheap, after all. But the next largest category was payroll, accounting for nearly $100 million. The team hired 19 new staff members last year, bringing its headcount up to 694. Team principal Christian Horner is said to have made nearly $4 million, and you can bet that chief designer Adrian Newey made a solid seven figures as well. The team has paid its up-and-coming drivers relatively little, however, with Daniel Ricciardo said to have made $1.6 million last year and his wingman Daniil Kvyat about half that. By comparison, Ferrari lured their predecessor Sebastian Vettel away from Red Bull with a contract said to be worth $80 million per year.
As the defending champions, the team was entitled to a large portion of the sport's revenues, contributing another $100 million to its budget. And while the energy drink company that owns it may account for the most prominent branding on the car and uniforms, other sponsors (like title sponsor Infiniti) contributed significantly to the team's budget as well. Unfortunately for Red Bull, while it arrived on the grid in 2014 with the momentum of four consecutive world titles at its back, the investment did not pay off last season. The 2014 championship saw it thoroughly trounced by Mercedes, and has since slipped down to fourth place in this season's behind Ferrari and Williams as well.
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