Formula E improves financials but loses over €42m

(Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
(Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

Formula E, the electric single-seater racing series, has revealed a loss of €42.4m ($44.9m) for the financial year ending September 30, 2023, closing the gap on the previous year’s €65m shortfall.

The figures, released yesterday, covered Season 9 of the championship, which since its creation in 2014 has lost a total of almost €280m with no profit-generating seasons. It is a financial position that new majority shareholder Liberty Global will be looking to turn around.

Although the championship continually loses money, the total losses in 2023 were €22.6m less than in 2022, with the championship’s expansion from 10 to 11 events last season contributing to increased revenue but also increased costs. The results stated that a €38.4m boost in revenue — to €219.9m — was also driven by growing sponsorship income over the period.

During the financial period in question, Formula E renewed several key deals with Allianz, Hankook, DHL and Julius Baer, and agreed new deals with Tata Communications and wire, cable and electric provider Southwire. 

At the conclusion of Season 9, however, Formula E lost a number high-profile sponsors including Heineken (which has a large presence in F1), Hugo Boss and Tag Heuer, as well as Moet & Chandon and

It has since replaced many of these deals, with series CEO Jeff Dodds telling SportBusiness Sponsorship earlier this year that the series had “lost a few” and “gained a few more,” alluding to recent agreements with Infosys, Google Cloud and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), as well as Bridgestone’s selection as sole future tyre supplier for Formula E’s Gen4 car from 2026-27 to 2029-30.   

The series replaced fashion partner Hugo Boss with Hackett, and Taittinger has succeeded Moet & Chandon as the championship’s champagne supplier.

ANALYSIS: Formula E offsets sponsorship departures with new additions

Formula E’s most financially-successful year in its decade-long history was in 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic drastically reduced its operating costs. More than half of that year’s season took place over the course of nine days in Berlin, resulting in a loss of only €62,660 for the financial year ending September 30, 2020.

Formula E raced in three new markets last year — Brazil, India and South Africa — but dropped rounds in France and South Korea. The latter was a particular surprise given Korean brand Hankook joined the championship as its official tyre supplier. Hankook will depart at the end of the 2025-26 season since Formula E has chosen to replace them with Bridgestone.

The financial benefit of that switch will not be felt until the Japanese firm’s tyres are in use, but Formula E is now finally moving towards establishing itself in the Japanese market after achieving a long-held ambition of hosting a race in the country this year. It will return to Tokyo again in 2025.

The 2023 season was the first to feature Formula E’s third-generation car and they were listed as the biggest contributor to the amount spent on intangible assets. This rose from €80,000 in 2022 to about €3m in 2023. There was also a significant hike in wage costs, while other contributors to the operating loss included €3.4m of depreciating assets and a €500,000 tax bill in India.

Formula E did earn almost €900,000 from renting out its office space to Extreme E, an off-road electric racing series which like Formula E was founded by Alejandro Agag.