The Expenses of a Formula One team.

Everyone knows that Formula One is an extremely expensive sport. There are many parts of the car that can take the costs into the millions! For example, one engine would cost around £148,000! As well as the building of the car, the people cost is extremely high, with the driver salary and the pit crew salary taken into account. Not to mention the cost of travelling to the races and the race fuel. Oh and there is the entry fee which each team has to pay. I am going to look into how much the Red Bull team approximately have to spend for one of their cars to get onto the grid.

The car
In terms of the car, each individual component has its own cost. The rear wing (£8,900), the steering wheel, (£20,000), the exhaust (£8,000), the front wing (£15,000), the tyre’s (£450×4), the brakes (£2,500), the engine (£148,000×8), the undertray (£6,000), the monocoque (£82,000), the gearbox (£89,000) and the telemetry software (£74,500). Added together the price of one car for a season is £1,491,700.

This only takes into account one car, with its regulation 8 engines, and only its first set of tyres. A car can use around 24 tyres in one race, that’s £10,800. There is also the issue of damage. If a car crashes then each damaged area would be replaced. So that adds a lot more onto the car for the season.

The driver
For Red Bull both of their drivers are salary drivers, which means they pay them to drive. There are drivers on the grid known as pay drivers, which means through their sponsorship they pay the team for the ability to drive.

For Red Bull in 2012 both of their drivers were paid €10m, which is the equivalent of around £8.5m. As this was each the Red Bull team spent £17,000,000 on driver salary

Entry fee
For the 2013 season every team must pay the flat fee of $500,000 to enter. On top of this they must pay $5,000 for every point scored in the previous season. So for Mclaren, who won 378points in 2012, this means an entry fee of $2,390,000, which works out to around £1,533,624. However, if you were the constructors champion, the is an extra $1,000 per point added to your fee. This means that Red Bull had to pay $6,000 per point for entry, and they won 460points in 2012, as well as the flat fee. This means that their total entry fee is: $3,260,000 (£2,091,889)

Extra expenses
Other expenses a team must pay for include the travel expenses, which cost around £2,100,000; the fuel for the car for a season, which costs between. £2,800,000 and £3,460,000; and the salary of the pit crew.

The pit crew salary ranges from £24,260 a year to £62,383. There are a huge amount of people in one pit crew, about 11 work on the car during the pit stop. So say each of these earn the same amount, which I will estimate to be between the two salaries listed, £43,321 a year, that’s £465,531 a year on one set of pit crew.

So by these calculations the overall cost for the Red Bull team to enter the first race of the season, excluding the cost of testing, assuming all travel arrangements for the season are pre-paid, and you take the highest price of fuel for the season, comes to around £26,609,120

This all just goes to show the amount of money a team needs to stay in this sport. A lot of this money comes from sponsorship deals, which for Red Bull is the Red Bull company. There is also the money from media coverage, and the better your team is doing the more people are watching, leading to more sponsors wanting their name on the car. From these figures you can see why some of the smaller, and less well off teams, are currently opting for pay drivers for the 2013, and they aren’t even paying as much as the top teams!


4 thoughts on “The Expenses of a Formula One team.

  1. This is very interesting as far as it goes but it actually vastly under-estimates the costs. For instance, fluid transfer systems (of which there are a few dozen per car) can cost hundreds of Pounds per assembly, hydraulic pumps, manifolds and actuators, with all their ancilliaries (always custom made in titanium) cost many thousands and brake callipers can cost up to £20,000 each!

  2. I know this barely scratches the surface of the costs incurred on the team. I wanted to give a brief over view of some of the costs, and the fact that the total is what it is without the items you mentioned show how much each team needs! 🙂

  3. This was very interesting. Thanks . I know someone who works for Red Bull as a driver. I’ve no idea how much he earns but the salaries and hotel costs of the entire crew must add a lot to your overall figure.

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