24 How much does it cost to run a F1 team?
The Motoring News & Motor Sport supplement for the 1994 British GP
gives some rough figures (converted to US $ ) for this.
Drivers: The market is depressed after Prost's retirement and Senna's
death. Berger gets about $ 13M from Ferrari, Schumacher about $ 5M
from Benetton. Mansell got nearly $ 1.2M for a single race for
Williams. After the top rank, the drivers are much cheaper down to
about $ 80K for a test driver.
Cars: After paying for the wind tunnel testing and other research,
wear & tear and accident damage, you will be `lucky' to have spent
less than $ 7M.
Engines: Some teams get free engines and rebuilds from a
manufacturer. Hart's budget is about $ 3M. Cosworth or Ilmor engines
could cost $ 5M -- $ 6.5M.
Tyres: Goodyear supply Williams, McLaren, Benetton, Ferrari and
Sauber for free. The rest pay $ 600 per tyre. With seven sets for
each car for 16 meetings and more for testing, tyres could cost $
800K for a season.
Fuel: Free for many teams, $ 400K for the rest.
Travel: Flying 30 team members to
Freight: The top 10 teams get two cars and five tonnes of equipment
transported by FOCA for the races outside
trucks for the European races. For the teams outside the top 10, or
bigger teams which take extra equipment, the bill could come to $
Staff: Most teams have between 50 and 150 staff to design, build, and
run the cars, run the business etc. This anything upwards of $ 5M.
Testing: Essential to remain competitive. Budget for $ 2M+
Equipment: CAD systems, CNC lathes etc. They can be used for several
years, but a new team needs them right away. Start at $ 1M -- $ 2M.
Total: A reasonable top 10 team with no engine, fuel or tyre deals
and a couple of drivers who cost $ 1.5M together, will cost $ 23M,
just to go racing. Teams at the back of the grid probably spend less
than $ 10M. Teams at the front spend $ 50M, at least.