Formula 2 is the final stop before entering the top motorsport racing league, Formula 1. Think of Formula 2 as AAA baseball, where the next step is joining Major League Baseball if you are good enough. What might surprise you is that not only do the racers make a fraction of what Formula 1 drivers make, but most have to find funding to sponsor them in the league to keep racing.
A Formula 2 and Formula 3 driver makes anywhere between $225-$500 a day. However, the team owner and crew typically get paid before the driver does. For example, car repairs, maintenance, paying the team, and more go to the club before the driver receives payment. The drivers at Formula 2 and 3 are there to work their way to the ultimate goal, F1 racing, and they typically receive funding to continue their career journey.
Here is the complete guide to how much Formula 2 Drivers Make.
What is the Average Salary for Formula 2 and Formula 3 Drivers?
The average driver salary for a Formula 2 and Formula 3 racer is between $225-500 a day. Usually, these drivers look for personal sponsorship deals to help fund their venture in the motorsport league. These individual sponsorships help cover the cost for the car, entry fee for races, truck drivers, and more. In addition, personal sponsorship can give more money to the driver as long as it doesn’t interfere with the official FIA rules.
Drivers who don’t make enough money tend to work secondary jobs during the season. Some of these secondary jobs include being a stunt driver, coach, and other car racing tournaments as long as it does not interfere with their F2 or F3 job.
How Much Do F1 Drivers Make?
Being in F1 is a full-time salary for the racing team. The salary range for an F1 race car driver is from $500k to $60 million a year. Yearly salaries for F1 drivers can change based on bonus incentives for where they finish a race, like during the Grand Prix or other significant events.
The highest-paid formula one driver in 2022 is Lewis Hamilton, who makes $60 million a year. The following highest formula one earners are Charles Leclerc with $30 million, Fernando Alonso with $20 million, Max Verstappen with $19.5 million, and Daniel Ricciardo with $17 million.
How Much Do NASCAR Drivers Make?
NASCAR drivers tend to make around $1.5 million on average per year. Like F1 drivers, some drivers can make much more than the average for the league. The highest-paid NASCAR driver is Kyle Busch at $16.9 million per season.
However, while the salary of a NASCAR driver is good, it does pale in comparison to what F1 drivers can make.
How Do F2/ F3 Racing Teams Make Money?
F2 racing teams make money in a few ways. First, F2 teams make money through owners owning the team. These owners invest in the group and help cover the costs for drivers and the team to have a living while racing.
Second, F2 teams make money through ads, promotions, and sponsorships during the season. Just like having a wealthy owner help cover the costs for the squad, teams can get sponsored by companies to help them make money.
Third, F2 teams make money based on how they do during professional racing tournaments. Winning a race can help bring in additional funds to the team. Addoitional funds can help pay for repairs, pay the owner, and more.
How Much Does it Cost to Run an F2 and F3 Team Yearly?
It costs around $750k and more per year to run an F2 team. The cost of running the team includes fixing the car, paying the driver, paying the crew, and more. Running an F1 sports car team annually costs about $20 million.
How Many Racers in F2 Make it to F1?
According to Racefans.net, there is a 90% dropout rate for racers in F2 to F1. One of the best ways to move from F2 to F1 is by placing high in the standings during the FIA Formula 2 Championship. However, winning or placing high during this race (along with other races and having good lap times during a career) is difficult, which means most don’t move to the highest level.
There are a few reasons why the dropout rate is so high in most racing careers, from F2 to F1.
- Formula one costs around $20 million a year to maintain a team and the F1 car. If the driver of F2 can’t secure the funding to maintain that level of commitment, then the racer can’t continue. Usually, when a racer can compete at F1, they can secure a new budget if they need to, but chances are they need more sponsors to jump in to help cover this new cost.
- The competition in Formula two to get to Formula one is intense. If a racer cannot become a World Champion during their F2 career, they won’t receive as much funding, which will be challenging to keep the team together.
- Some of the drivers were sponsored at a young age through karting through F2. If the sponsor no longer sees the investment paying off, the money stops, and the career is over.
Is there an Unfair Advantage of Racers Getting into F2 and F3 via Money?
There is criticism of how expensive it is to become an F2 and F3 driver. Most racers who enter the league have had extensive funding from their parents, family, or sponsors to get to this level. With the amount of money going to the junior leagues to make the best drivers, there is criticism that the sport is more for the wealthy than sometimes the best drivers.
Here are some of the ways money goes into breeding F2 drivers throughout a driver’s career
- Getting a sponsorship as a young driver for go-karting races.
- Professional driving lessons on race tracks to learn about the sport at a young age.
- Getting race entry fees paid for by the owner to participate in races.
- Having your race car fixed by the owner and sponsor of the team allows you to keep racing.
Conclusion: How Much Do Formula 2 Drivers Make?
In summary, Formula Two drivers make considerably less than Formula One drivers. Formula Two drivers make around $225-500 a day and need significant help in paying for the season. The investment in drivers from a sponsor helps cover the cost for car repairs, paying the team, and paying the driver. However, investors are looking for a financial return on these drivers over time. If the financial investment is not looking promising from an owner, they can cut ties with that driver.
The competition from moving from F3 to F2 is tough, but the competition from F2 to F1 is even more so. The highest-paid driver in F1 makes $60 million a year, so there is so much investment in young drivers to make it into F1 at a young age. Like in baseball, with the minor leagues trying to make it into the majors, most athletes don’t make it into F1.
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