The most common route into a successful motor racing career begins with karting, which typically needs between seven to 10 years of progression, along with training and equipment can require an investment of at least £585k.
Teams invest heavily in the next generation of drivers and it can cost as much as £8m to back a promising young driver, all the way to securing a seat in one of the leading F1 cars.
As such, it’s no surprise that F1 drivers are amongst the best paid sports professionals around. Figures released by GP Fans in 2020 show that six-times world champion Lewis Hamilton earns around €48m each year with Mercedes, closely followed by Sebastian Vettel on €42m at Ferrari.
At the back of the grid in terms of salaries, Antonio Giovinazzi with Alfa Romeo and George Russell at Williams each earn around €200k per year.
Fans of motorsport are particularly keen followers of specific drivers, and that’s even more evident in Formula 1 than any other series.
On Twitter alone, Hamilton has more than 5.6 million followers and boasts a massive fan base.
Along with his exceptional driving skill and sporting success, the British driver has brought to Mercedes, his own fame and celebrity has exceptional value in generating revenue for the team as a whole.
In a sport with such huge economic value and high spending each year, despite financial changes coming from 2021, drivers can expect to escape virtually unscathed from the proposed spending caps.
The teams have the history and prestige associated with their brands, although it’s fair to say that drivers are still very much the ringmasters of this particular sporting circus.
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