The Cost of Raising a Formula 1 Driver - Engine Builder Magazine

The Cost of Raising a Formula 1 Driver

Are you aware of how much it can cost to raise a Formula 1 driver? Lewis Hamilton has spoken out recently about the lack of diversity in F1, with the price of getting into the sport often restricting people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and ultimately pricing them out of competing. It raises the question over whether F1 is doing enough to include people from diverse backgrounds.

Are you aware of how much it can cost to raise a Formula 1 driver? Lewis Hamilton has spoken out recently about the lack of diversity in F1, with the price of getting into the sport often restricting people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and ultimately pricing them out of competing. It raises the question over whether F1 is doing enough to include people from diverse backgrounds, and the Cost of Raising a Pro breaks down the cost of starting out from a young age to become a professional racing driver, and compares it to 10 other selected sports. 

The True Cost of Raising a Formula One Driver

  • Does Formula 1 price aspiring children out of the sport?
  • It can cost $10,000,000 to progress from karting to the F1 grid
  • Karting alone can cost $60,000+ a year, often without sponsorships or outside backing
  • Most professional drivers rely on external funding to reach the top
  • Average salaries of $15,000,000 in F1

A new study shows Formula 1 is pricing children out of the sport.

Motor racing has a reputation as one of the most glamorous sports in the world, but there are concerns it is becoming increasingly elitist due to the spiraling costs of participating from a young age.

The Cost of Raising a Pro looks at 10 selected sports and compares the price of becoming a professional, and it shows that it can cost millions of pounds to aspiring racing drivers if they want to reach the top of the sport.

Lewis Hamilton is a rare example of a driver who has come through from a working class background to reach the top of F1, but he has expressed his concerns over whether it can be repeated due to the increasingly extravagant costs that are involved from an early age.

Those costs can be as much as $10,000,000 with training, equipment and travel taken into account, proving that it can take more than just skill and dedication to reach the top.

The price of karting – the popular route into competitive racing taken by the likes of Hamilton, Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher – alone can cost more than $700,000 over a substantial period to compete, immediately putting working families at a disadvantage.

A lot of racers make it to the top through having a wealthy backer – Lance Stroll is a current example – that will pay their way through training and offer them opportunities to further themselves, but for regular kids it is becoming increasingly difficult to stay in the sport.

The exceptionally talented are likely to be picked up by talent schemes for the major racing teams who will then cover the costs of progressing through the F4, F3 and GP2 stages to F1, but if not then families will be forced to fork out huge sums or face giving up.

Other sports such as soccer, tennis and football offer much cheaper and more viable alternatives into professional sport – ranging from $30,000 to $50,000 – proving just how unattainable and inaccessible a career in F1 is to the normal family.

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