How to become an F1 driver: Everything you need to know

How to become an F1 driver: Everything you need to know

Legendary drivers like Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher, and Max Verstappen have made a name in Formula 1, inspiring many people through their success. As a result, some of their fans have developed an interest in participating in the sport. This article brings you tips on how to become an F1 driver. What does it take to succeed in the motor race? Find out below.

How to become an f1 driver in the US
F1 drivers line up for a group photo before the Bahrain Grand Prix at the Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, on 5 March 2023. Photo: David Davies
Source: Getty Images

F1 cars are often packed with the latest technology and cost millions. Their drivers are first-class racers who have undergone years of training. Most of them began nurturing and developing their skills at a young age.

What qualifications do you need to be an F1 driver?

Racing in Formula 1 is not a walk in the pack. One must meet certain thresholds before graduating to that level. First, one must hold a current FIA International Grade A license with a valid driving license. Secondly, it is also a requirement for one to be at least 18 years old at the start of their first F1 competition.

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Thirdly, F1 racers must have completed a knowledge test on the International Sporting Code and F1 Sporting Regulations. A candidate must score at least 80% of two seasons to qualify.

Is it hard to become F1 driver?

How to become an f1 driver in the US
Legendary American 1978 F1 champion Mario Andretti after taking the first lap in the new Circuit of the Americas (COTA) outside Austin in October 2012. Photo: Robert Daemmrich
Source: Getty Images

Becoming a professional driver takes years of experience. It also needs massive financial investment to enter Formula 1. One must also have talent, money and commitment to succeed in the sport.

Chances of becoming an F1 driver

Formula 1 features the 20 best drivers from different countries competing in circuits or closed public roads. Therefore, chances of entering the competition are slim, considering the level of competition from hundreds of drivers fighting for the 20 slots.

How to become an F1 driver in the US

Featuring in F1 is a privilege, but racers must hard up the ranks to earn it. They must show commitment and resilience to succeed. Below are some of the tips on how to become an F1 driver in Canada. They also apply to those in South Africa, the US, and other countries.

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1. Start karting

How to become an F1 driver manager
Australian BWT Alpine Formula 1 Team reserve racer Oscar Piastri (L) in action during a media opportunity at Todd Road Karting Circuit on 5 April 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. Photo: Daniel Pockett
Source: Getty Images

Karts are single-seaters, just like F1 vehicles. Although they are slower than F1 cars, they help people learn the fundamentals before moving to more powerful vehicles. Many of the racers on the grid began their journey in karting.

2. Commitment

Commitment is critical to achieving many things in life. By constantly training and showing enthusiasm, learning more and improving in the sport is possible. Those who work hard are also likely to land sponsors because they are determined to succeed.

3. Develop racing fundamentals

How to become an F1 drivers assistant
Technicians clean the Formula One racing car during the Red Bull show-run car parade in Milton Keynes, north of London, on 10 December 2022. Photo: Daniel Leal
Source: Getty Images

As a young racer, you can sharpen your skills by getting mentors and trainers to help you improve and get better. It would be best to have a strong foundation of skills in F1. It is one of the ways how to become an F1 driver in the UK.

4. Build relationships with teams & sponsors

It would help if you built relationships with teammates and sponsors to climb up and race in the grid. Teams help one another to develop skills and learn more.

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5. Train your body and mind

The right mindset and winning mentality are crucial to becoming a Formula One racer. It is also essential to train your body for physical fitness. Training helps to build muscle and strengthen the neck to avoid injuries.

How to become an F1 driver in South Africa

How to become an f1 driver in the UK
Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain speaks with Finnland's Valtteri Bottas ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit on 5 March 2023 in Bahrain. Photo: Eric Alonso
Source: Getty Images

South Africans can also participate in the motor race if they meet the required qualifications. The country has produced 25 participants in the sport's history. Only 17 have started at least one Grand Prix, and only four started more than four races. Jody Scheckter ranks as the most prolific and successful South African F1 racer, having won a race.

How to become an F1 driver in India

Indian F1 racers have achieved many milestones in the global event. They have also inspired many young Indians to participate and make careers in the sport. Like many F1 icons, they also worked their way to the racing competition through hard work and acquiring the necessary certification.

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How much does it cost to become an F1 driver?

When is it too late to become an F1 driver?
Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing waves during the Oracle Red Bull Racing Home Run event on 10 December 2022 in Milton Keynes, England. Photo: Luke Walker
Source: Getty Images

F1 racers must register with a certain amount to compete in the race. It is expensive, and only a few people can afford it. Some get help from sponsors to pay for their registration. In 2023, the basic registration fee per driver is $11,047, plus an extra $2,230 per point from the previous season.

Top stars like Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen will pay hefty fees to compete in the 2023 competition. Below is a breakdown of the registration fees for the top 10 F1 drivers in 2023.

DriverRegistration FeeTeam
Max Verstappen$1.023 millionRed Bull Racing
Charles Leclerc$698kFerrari
Sergio Perez$690kRed Bull Racing
George Russell$624kMercedes
Carlos Sainz$559kFerrari
Lewis Hamilton$545.7kMercedes
Lando Norris$283kMcLaren-Mercedes
Esteban Ocon$216kAlpine-Renault
Fernando Alonso$191.5kAston Martin-Mercedes
Valtteri Bottas $120kAlfa Romeo-Ferrari

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When is it too late to become an F1 driver?

It is always possible to feature in Formula One regardless of age. Therefore even at 100 years old, you can still compete in the competition as long as you have met the qualifications. In 2021, Kimi Räikkönen retired at 42.

How to become an F1 driver's assistant

Many Formula One racers often have assistants to help them during the race. Some bring their trainers who keep them fit, hydrated, and healthy. Others get assisted by their managers or agents.

How to become an F1 driver manager

Managers play a crucial role in F1 racing. It is a highly-classified join that needs years of experience. Managers primarily manage logistics, staff operations, and sporting regulations. They ensure the team meets the FIA and the sporting code standards.

Knowing how to become an F1 driver is one step towards understanding the sport. Many people have pursued their dreams of participating in the race but unfortunately missed out. However, there are always hopes for those aspiring to enter the race.

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READ ALSO: Top 10 football stars with the most expensive car collections

Sports Brief also compiled a list of the top 10 football stars with the most expensive car collections. Most of these players take home huge sums as salaries every week, which is evident by their luxurious lifestyles.

Despite owning lucrative and expensive houses, they also own the most expensive cars, like Cristiano Ronaldo's Ferrari Monza. Click on the link above for more details about the top 10 football stars with the most expensive car collections.

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