Mercedes F1 spent $442 million in 2019 but still made money

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Formula One champions Mercedes spent 333 million pounds ($442 million) in winning both titles last year but still reported a profit, according to the team's published 2019 accounts.

Mercedes are on course to win both titles again this season for the seventh year in a row, with six-times world champion Lewis Hamilton 47 points clear of his closest rival Max Verstappen after seven races.

The results to end-December showed Mercedes made a post-tax profit of 14.7 million pounds, compared with a previous 12.6 million.

They won 15 races last year, including nine one-two finishes, and 32 podium places in all.

The accounts said Mercedes had enjoyed a 23.6% share of television coverage, generating a cumulative television advertising value equivalent (AVE) of $5.406 billion for commercial partners.

Turnover was 363.6 million pounds, up from a previous 338.4 million, due mainly to increased sponsorship and marketing revenue.

Formula One is introducing a $145 million budget cap from next season as part of measures aimed at creating a more level playing field for the 10 teams as well as a more sustainable future.

Driver salaries and marketing expenses are among the exclusions to the cap.

Hamilton, likely to end the season as the most successful driver of all time, is one of the world's highest-earning athletes and has yet to renew a contract that expires at the end of 2020.

Team boss Toto Wolff, whose own future at the helm remains uncertain, told reporters at the Italian Grand Prix that the target was to reduce considerably the burden on the parent company.

"Obviously Mercedes has invested a lot over the years into the team and continues to invest a lot on the power unit side, which is still a considerable investment," he said.

"But the return on investment for Mercedes has been great.

"I am very committed to reducing this investment to zero on the chassis side and then help improve the power unit situation."

Wolff said the cost cap would force Mercedes to reorganise the way they operate.