Powerful hybrid power units. Weightless carbon-fiber chassis. Sophisticated aerodynamics. It is of no question that Formula 1 cars are among the fastest — and not to mention, the most expensive — automobiles on the planet. But don’t let all that speed blind you, as there is much more to Formula 1 than just its incomprehensible speed. Behind all the sport’s pioneering technological achievements, elements such as each cars’ materials, each racing teams’ crew and each Grand Prix’s logistics all contribute immensely to making Formula 1 the most expensive sport.
How Much Does It Actually Cost?
The Car: Light Materials With Heavy Price-tags
In order to achieve the highest level of performance, each Formula 1 car must use the best materials (at least 25,000 separate parts), and more often than not, they come with multiple-digit price-tags — in US Dollars! Altogether, the average cost for an entire Formula 1 car is around 12.2 million dollars (~THB370 million). Here is a list of the average price of each part.
Front Wing: $150,000
Halo protective structure above the driver’s cockpit: $17,000 Steering Wheel – $50,000
Fuel Tank: $140,000
Engine Unit: $10,500,000
Rear Wing: $85,000
Carbon Fibre main structure: $650,000
Set of Tires: $2,700
Fuel per season: $500,000
If you’re intrigued by those numbers, you’ll be shocked to realise that even more — in fact, the most — money is spent on the cars’ research and development process, which can cost up to around $500 million.
The Team: The Best Of The Best
Each Formula 1 team has anywhere between 250 to 950 staff members — ranging from engineers, to strategists, to mechanics, to race engineers, to drivers — each are among the best in their fields. Considering there are 10 teams, the total number of staff members can go from 2,500 to 9,500. The driver alone can earn up to 57 million dollars annually, excluding earnings from bonuses and sponsorships, so imagine how much money is invested in each of the other hundreds of staff members (around $100 million in total per anum).
The Logistics: Worldwide
Formula 1 is among very few sports that have worldwide venues. In a Formula 1 season, there are 21 races in 21 countries across the globe. Considering the monstrous amount of equipment and number of staff each Formula 1 team must transport in a short period of 1-2 weeks between each Grand Prix, the logistics cost is, unquestionably, massive. It is estimated that each team will transport approximately 50 tons of equipment per season, accounting to at least $8 million. Combining the costs of all 10 teams, approximately $80 million is spent solely on logistics.