Mercedes-AMG F1Formula One has outstripped the FIFA World Cup in total revenue over the past 15 years, making it the world’s most valuable global sport.

Since under-fire FIFA president Sepp Blatter was appointed in 1998, the World Cup has generated $14.5 billion, reports Forbes.

Formula One has, however, generated $16.2 billion – and, unlike the FIFA figures, F1 numbers only go up to 2013, meaning the difference is even greater than it first appears.

The total revenue of F1’s operating company, Jersey-based Delta Topco, was $1.7 billion in 2013. This contrasts with the revenue of former Formula One operator, Formula One Administration: back in 1999, income was just $341 million.

F1 has thus grown its global value by a factor of 4 over the past 15 years – whereas FIFA is ‘only’ grown by a factor of 3.

Motor racing’s top tier is the world’s most-watched sport, with 425 million viewers in 2014. It is led by Brit Bernie Ecclestone, who has transformed the fortunes of F1 (and also built a $4 billion personal fortune).