Dreams are dreams, but some want to turn that illusion into reality, like the young people who start in karting until they become Formula 1 drivers. There are many examples that serve as a sign that with work, dedication and perseverance it is possible to reach that goal that seems so far away and that is reserved for only twenty people around the world each year.
Max Verstappen, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and a long etcetera of greats are the ones who have marked their names in gold letters in the history books, but the reality is that they have suffered and fought a lot to get there. The logical path is to start in karting and, from there, go up in the lower categories until reaching the Great Circus, although this requires an almost unaffordable financial outlay for many families.
The brother of one of the greatest drivers in history, Ralf Schumacher , is aware of what it takes to take a youngster from karting to the fastest single-seaters in the world, and on sister site Motorsport.com, Formel1.de , gave the figures of the money needed to reach Formula 1.
“It is unthinkable that a normal mortal or a father with a normal income could afford it. We already see it in the Bambini classes, the junior classes, there are one or two categories in club racing where it is possible, but beyond that, without support. , it becomes very difficult”, said the German.
“In the Bambini I would estimate, in junior, if you run it in clubs, you will need about 30,000 euros,” said the former Toyota , among other teams. “You always have to keep in mind that you travel, you sleep somewhere, you eat a little, and the materials. In international karting, I can only talk about the professional teams, with all the races, you face a quarter of million a year.”
When asked about how much money is needed to compete in the category that supports Formula 1 during the grand prix, Formula 2, he replied: “You start racing karts at six or seven years old. The first years They are not that expensive, but I would say that a total race with Formula 2 today, with that, Formula 3, the tests, the preparation, would be between 13 and 15 million euros.
“Of course, there are teams that can charge much higher prices because they are more successful. Prema is a good example, they are much more expensive, they are already close to two million, and more for Formula 3, depending on who wants to drive. , he continued. “But it has to be said, the costs of buying the cars, the depreciation of the cars, the equipment, from the truck to everything you need to go to the circuit, all the mechanics, the trips, they also have to eat and Besides, it is very, very expensive, and the truth is that there is no money to be made from it, and the risk is not proportional to the income of the teams.
Despite the fact that it is necessary to pay to compete for a year in any category with a private team that offers a seat, Ralf Schumacher believes that it can be coped with even if you are a ‘paid driver’, and that is when asked if he he could make a living from racing despite having to come up with sponsors, he said.
“As a general rule, if you bring sponsors, they [teams] know it. You’re not rich, but you get by. A lot of them live at home for a while, and then they have their job, because you shouldn’t underestimate that either, the trip, the flights, the hotel, etc., everything costs money”, assured the German.
Therefore, the general summary is that it takes a lot of economic effort to get to Formula 1: “Six figures, yes. Formula 4, without evidence, we are talking about 300,000, 320,000 euros, and that does not include any damage, nor the winter tests or possibly an extra championship, like in winter in Dubai or Abu Dhabi, in which many drivers also participate.
“Formula 3 on average, there are teams that offer it below one million, but with good teams it is 1.3 million,” he said, before explaining that for the next step, Formula 2, more than 2 million are needed.
“I don’t think it’s enough, there are teams that offer it below two, but the number of races has also multiplied now, many more events. The most expensive teams are already more towards three million,” concluded Ralf Schumacher.
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