How much does it cost to get into the F1?

Many young children dream of becoming world-famous racing drivers, and parents can support their budding Formula One stars in the early years by encouraging them to attend a local kart track. It is well known that this is an expensive sport to get into, but what does the price tag really look like if this is to become a serious ambition?

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The First Stages of the Journey

When a young driver gets serious about karting and shows enough talent to continue into organised racing, the costs quickly begin to add up. To gain enough experience to progress through junior, senior and finally international kart racing will cost in the region of €1 million. The next stage would be to spend a season or more in Formula 4 or Formula Renault, where you would need to spend at least €350,000. Add to this €650,000 for a season in Formula 3 and we have already burnt through €2 million.

Making It to F1

For the seriously talented, at least another season of F3 may open doors to the chance to enter GP2 or World Series racing, which would easily more than double this price tag to between €4.5 million and €5 million. Now we are getting close to Formula One, assuming we can meet all additional driver requirements,, but we have not made it yet. There are lots of other young hopefuls competing for that seat, and it will cost at least an eye-watering €2 million to €3 million to secure that drive! That comes to a total bill of between €7million and €8 million, which converts to around $8 million or £6 million.

For most of us, the chance to watch the Monte Carlo Grand Prix from glamorous settings such as the Monaco F1 Paddock Club, as arranged by, would be a dream come true in itself. This stunning location with its luxury yachts and A-list clientele is synonymous with the glittering world of Formula One. But despite the massive costs, the ultimate goal for many ambitious and talented young drivers is to be on the race track itself.

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Manufacturers can help to reduce this expense by appointing talent-spotters to sign up young drivers for training schemes which guide them into Formula 1. It goes without saying that such development schemes are fiercely competitive.