Red Bull and Max Verstappen have won almost everything on offer in F1 this season, but at what cost?
It’s a known fact that F1 is a notoriously expensive sport. The price of an F1 car is estimated at around $15.9 million, according to figures released by Red Bull, the current Constructors champion. However, Verstappen and his team are about to shed a lot more money this time - not just for the car, but for him to drive it.
The UK-based team will have to pay more than a million euros to obtain his FIA Super License for the next season - a ‘Super License’ is a driver’s qualification allowing them to compete in F1.
After 17 wins and 524 points that the 26-year-old scored this season before the Las Vegas Grand Prix, the cost of his F1 Super License for the 2024 season has gone up to a whopping €1,188,556 - From the 2023 season, each driver has to pay a base fee of €10,400. And, for each point they score, they have to pay an additional €2,100 to secure their seat for the next season.
‘You win some, you lose some’ can work in unthinkable ways.
Though it won’t be coming out of his pocket, Verstappen did say, at the beginning of the season that it was an ‘absurd’ amount of money. While his licence cost close to a million euros last time around, it was still a record-breaking sum, €300,000 more than runner-up Charles Leclerc.
However, the defending champion has certainly made a decent effort to restrict his team’s splurging on the RB19. Without a single DNF (Did Not Finish) this year, the Dutchman has had the least amount of damage on his car among drivers this season, roughly coming to around $200,000.
His Red Bull counterpart, Sergio Perez, finds himself third on the list - his team has had to spend more than $2.5 million on his car. Right on top is Williams’ Logan Sargeant, who costed his side nearly $4 million.
But the few million that Red Bull has managed to save, thanks to Verstappen’s efficient driving, is significantly less than what it was forced to cough up last year, for other reasons.
The team had to pay a $7m fine and was awarded a technical penalty after it was found guilty of a ‘minor breach’ in the cost cap. The six-time Constructors champion was penalised, resulting in a 10 percent reduction in wind tunnel time, an essential component in designing and developing cars.
Reports claimed that Red Bull had found a way to run its cars in the wind tunnel longer than stipulated. The team was also found overspending in the 2021 season, the very season in which Verstappen got his first WDC title in the last lap of the last race.
Since then, Verstappen has gone on to do Verstappen things. He has left everyone behind by miles, breaking records and creating history. Just this season, he became the driver with the most wins in a single season (18) and the most consecutive wins (10). With a comfortable lead over his second-placed teammate Perez, he sealed a third consecutive title well before the season ended.
It wouldn’t be a surprise if the 2023 champion ends the season on a high note, with yet another victory at the Yas Marina Circuit. It could, however, cost his team a few thousand euros more, which his team would only be happy to spend.
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