The paper will describe the salaries of different drivers as Formula 1 is one of the highest paid sports in the world. It will highlight the salaries earned by drivers in the business. It will focus upon the requirements of the sport, from age to physical fitness, from legal requirements to company requirements. Furthermore the paper will discuss the different stages a driver has to pass through, before he is qualified to become a Formula 1 driver. These stages include early training to a professional driver and the rigorous mental and physical training.
Experiences of different drivers also narrate a different story about the world of Formula 1 racing and that is why such experiences will be used in the paper to provide insights. The paper also discusses the sport as a business. With time F1 has grown in to an industry earning huge sums of money in just one season for everyone, be it the constructors, the media or the sponsors. The paper then ends with a conclusion summarizing what formula one offers and requires as an occupation. INTRODUCTION AND THESIS:
Formula 1 racing which is also known as F1 to many is the top class motor car racing certified by the Federation of International Automobiles. The word formula refers to specific rules that every team has to comply with. It dates back to European motor racing of 1920s and 1930s. The first formula one race was held in England at Silverstone in 1950 after the world war and a championship for constructors (those who provide the cars) first took in 1958. Today formula one has become a legend in the world of motorsports. The season consists of a series of races held at different places in the world and the championship is known as Grand Prix.
It is held on proper circuits or city roads such as Monaco or Singapore. At the end of the season, two championships are awarded; one for the best driver and one for the constructor. Europe is like the headquarters of formula one. Most of the races take place in Europe and all the teams are Europe based as well. However in the recent years the scope of the sport has expanded and nowadays drivers from all around the world try to qualify as a formula one racer. To get the license of a formula one racer, a driver has to pass many tests and rigorous physical and mental training.
The speed of a formula one car is approximately 360 km/hr which explains why stamina and strength and mental concentration are very important for these drivers. This is also one reason formula one racers are amongst the highest paid employees in the world and have a very large fan following. Based on the introduction my thesis statement would be: As an occupation, formula one has to offer high wages, fan following, glamour and in return requires a great lot of physical and mental endurance in compliance with the requirements of the federation of International Racing. HISTORY:
Formula one is one of the biggest racing and television events of the world. As a sport it is as famous as football or cricket. The history goes down to 1950s from where it all started. Europe was the base for motorsport racing and the era of 1920 and 30s gave rise to motor racing as a professional sport. Thus motor racing got divided into many divisions based on engine specifications, constructors, car types etc. one of these was formula one. The first formula one race was held at Silverstone, England in 1950 and a constructors champion ship was followed by in 1958.
(Bruce Jones, 15) The Formula in the name is a set of rules which all participants must comply to. This was a new formula which was introduced after World War II in motor racing. With the passage of time, the Formula saw many changes. Now it has totally modified into anew form because of the advanced auto mobile technology, the high speed engines and different track scenarios. HOW TO BECOME A FORMULA ONE DRIVER: To become a formula one racer, the drivers start from basic carting. As seen those who start at early ages, have been the most successful drivers in the history of formula one.
The current champion Hamilton started carting at the age of 9. Carting is a basic cart with steering capabilities, acceleration and braking. This helps improve the drivers skills in the art of steering, speed and brakes in closed circuits. After the driver is considered to be a qualified carter, he tries his luck in domestic championships or traditional European championships such as Formula 3 or Formula Ford. These races are the same as formula 1, but have lower car specifications and the circuits are closed and round usually. The top racers in these championships move to GP2.
The Gp2 series started in 2005 though but the top three champions of GP2 since 2005 have been moving to formula one. Before GP2, formula two and formula 3000 were the criteria for qualifying as a formula one driver. Though mostly British F3 series is one of the best place where constructors look for formula one drivers. Also to be noted is that there are drivers who have made straight to formula one such as Michael Schumacher who came from simple Motor Racing. Thus qualifications are not a compulsion but obviously they do have an impact on the selection. THE PAYSCALE:
As all other sports around the world, formula one is also a contract based sports. The drivers are hired on contract for a single season or for as many seasons as the constructors and the driver agree to. The earning there fore are on an annual basis. Last years champion Hamilton earned a one million pounds and is now on a five year contract with the constructor McLaren-Mercedese which is estimated to be worth approximately 70 million pounds and bonuses and endorsements are not included in this. Michael Schumacher according to the website Askmen. com earned a U. S.
$67 million only from endorsements. From the tracks, his contracted pay was around U. S. $32 million only which is almost half of what he got from endorsements only. One cannot make an estimate on the industry average as the rates vary depending on the constructor that has hired the driver. Also usually the salaries are not announced that openly so whatever data is available is through what people or media find out form sources. Though based on estimation all the drivers on contract earn above a $5 million approximately as per the driving earnings listed on the website; The F1 FAQ, 2008.
(Marcel, 01) REQUIREMENTS FOR BECOMING A FORMULA 1 DRIVER: Age: As far as age is concerned, a formula one driver can even be fifteen years old. As obvious, the requirement of the sport is not age, it is skills in driving and how you show them on the track. According to an article by the BMW Sauber Team, the famous driver Nick Hiedfeld says that these days anyone can enter the formula one BMW team at the age of fifteen. As these young amateurs enter the Karting stage early, it is obvious that they will hit the Formula one track early as well.
(BMW, 01). The retirement age is not very explicitly specified but generally drivers retire around 30 because they themselves realize that now onwards racing would not be tough, it would be hard. Physical Fitness: Physical fitness is something that a team never compromises when selecting a formula one driver. As the car moves on a speed of 360 km/hr, there is great force acting on the body of the driver. This force is termed as the G force. This G force exerts a lot of pressure on the body of the driver and requires endurance.
Similarly the lighter the weight of the driver, the faster the speed of the car as in formula one everything matters, from the fuel weight to drivers weight. The suit is also of leather to provide maximum protection and on a sunny day conditions sometimes become miserable for the drivers. Thus becoming a formula one driver requires extraordinary physical strength. Mental Concentration: Mental attentiveness comes along with physical vigor in order to become a formula one driver. A short lack of concentration and focus can cost the constructors their car and the driver his career. Accidents on such a high speed are fatal.
Apart from accidents there are split seconds decisions required such as when to speed up and when to hit the brakes at the right time or to overtake at the moment or not etc. All these choices require focus and sharpness. FORUMS: There are different forums for the fans to discus latest news regarding the world of formula one. Most popularly used forums include the forum on the homepage of Formula one and the forum on the webpage of Planet F-1. These forums also provide the fans to discuss driver ratings and performances and their views about the championships or a particular ace etc.
These forums are reviewed by teams at times and important decisions related to fans are sometime taken with the help of discussions on the forums. FORMULA 1 AS A BUSINESS: The formula one racing has evolved into a business, an industry. The tickets are allotted on basis of stands owned by the constructors. The tickets sold earn a great amount of sum for the constructors. Ferrari stands for example are estimated to earn around U. S. $300 million approximately for the entire season (Financial Times, n/a). Though this is the one of the highest earned sums in the industry it still shows how much money is generated in this business.
The constructors then also earn from media partners and sponsors. CONCLUSION: To conclude, one can confidently say that formula one is no doubt one of the sports that people would definitely prefer as an occupation. The sport has everything to offer which one requires from his or her occupation. Money, fame, world tours and a star studded life are the benefits of becoming a professional formula one driver. The sport though requires a great deal of physical and mental effort but then again fame and fortune do not come easy. It has already surpasses the stage of racing, it has become a business and an industry worth billions of dollars.
Works Cited Bruce and Damon Hill. The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Formula One: The Definitive Illustrated Guide to Grand Prix Motor Racing 2007. MBI publishing company. 2007. Marcel Schot. The F1 FAQ, Atlas F1. 2000 http://atlasf1. autosport. com/2000/ita/faq. html F1 Network. BMW F1 Sauber Team. Dec. 4, 2006. http://www. f1network. net/main/s491/st108520. htm The business of sports: Formula 1. Financial Times. Sept. 25, 2008. http://www. ft. com/cms/s/0/57eb0d84-8922-11dd-a179-0000779fd18c,dwp_uuid=1d7d1f1a-2041-11dd-80b4-000077b07658,s01=1. html