Unlike most other sports, Formula 1 drivers must pay a certain cost to re-enter the championship every year, meaning that no matter how successful you are, if you do not pay, you cannot compete.
Teams must also pay to enter the championship every year, meaning that there is a huge cost every campaign for a team and both of their drivers to be able to take part in the following year’s competition.
With regards to driver’s costs, each competitor must pay a set fee of €10,400, plus an additional €2,100 for every point that they scored in the previous season, meaning the more success you had, the higher your cost.
Max Verstappen was head and shoulders above the rest of the competition in 2022, picking up a record shattering 15 race wins on his way to retaining the drivers’ championship, and scoring a stunning 454 points along the way.
This means that if the Dutchman wishes to compete in the 2023 season, which he obviously does and is contracted to do so, he must pay an eye-watering €963,800 to renew his super licence.
Driver’s contracts usually have a points bonus inserted, meaning that they are paid a small sum of money for every point they score with the aim of subsidising the driver’s renewal cost at the end of the season.
Red Bull chief advisor Helmut Marko has now revealed that Red Bull will be picking up the entirety of Verstappen’s bill, believing that there is a clause in the 25-year-old’s contract that obliges them to do so.
“I didn’t realise how much we had to pay the FIA for the points,” said Marko.
“As far as I know, his contract states that we have to pay it.”
With a similar cost-per-point system in place for the teams, Red Bull’s success in the constructors’ championship will see the team pay $6,242,636 before even adding on Verstappen’s costs.
Sebastian Vettel, who has just retired from Formula 1, has made a valid point about the costs, claiming that it is unfair to charge the drivers per point when there are more and more races being added to the calendar each year, with more races meaning more points.