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

LONDON, Sept 5 (Reuters) - 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 highest-paid drivers and has yet to renew his contract that expires at the end of 2020. ($1 = 0.7526 pounds) (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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