Breaking Down How Much F2 Drivers Make

(Photo by Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)

If there is one thing we know for sure about racing, it’s that it is an expensive sport. The actual cars being raced in, at least in Formula 2, can cost roughly somewhere around $650,000 to upwards of over a million dollars. Add up the cost to travel, maintain the vehicle, and just general expenses, you have a pretty expensive hobby. With so much money being pumped into these racing leagues, some have called into question how much drivers are being paid. There have been varying reports of how much F2 drivers actually make, and that’s because the structure of racing can be confusing in general. 

In racing, you have Formula 1 or F1 as the top-tier premier racing league. Those are where your best and most marketable racers will perform. There are no purses given out during each race in any formula racing league, meaning that finishing in a specific position does not guarantee you money. Some racers can obtain bonuses for winning via their contract, but it’s rarer to see in F2. In large-part, sponsors are the most efficient way for racers to earn a bag for their hard work. Here is a breakdown of how much F2 drivers make.

What is the Pay Structure for an F2 Driver?

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(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

In reality, Formula 2 and Formula 3 are really amateur racing leagues. Not amateur in the sense of you and me, but amateur in the sense that they aren’t at the top of their craft yet. F2 and F3 are used as stepping stones for aspiring drivers. These racing leagues facilitate grounds for drivers to gain more experience racing with higher stakes and more pressure, and allows them to get more comfortable with the format. 

It is estimated that Formula 2 drivers will earn somewhere between $225 to $500 a day. A lot of the money generated from F2 are reinvested back into the cars or moving parts for the team. Upkeep for a racing team is extremely expensive. Not only do you have to fund the car, you have to make sure your whole crew and team are paid, have trucks that can transport cars, have the technology prepared for race day, and a myriad of other expenses. 

Overall it can be scarily expensive to run a Formula 2 team with really little return on investment. It may seem stark that the top Formula 1 drivers are earning upwards of $55 million, but that rests on what the overall goal of the leagues are. Many of these drivers for the most part are not there to earn a lot of money, they want to win and be the best at racing. Formula 2 will remain a seminal step for any aspiring Formula 1 racer, despite the low pay grade.

Do F2 Drivers Have to Pay for a Seat to Race in Formula 2?

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(Photo by Alex Pantling - Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)

Like we’ve already discussed, funding a Formula 2 racing team is not cheap. For drivers, it becomes all that more expensive after factoring in the fact that they must pay for a seat to race in Formula 2 competitions. 

The junior drivers in Formula 2 are expected to post a fee of an estimated $1.5 million to $2 million in order to participate in competitions. Owners of teams will usually pay for this fee, but drivers can be expected to pay for other expenses such as travel and health benefits. It’s rare, but drivers can also be tasked with paying for certain repairs if the vehicle is crashed during a race.

How Do F2 Teams Make Money?

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(Photo by Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)

You might be asking yourself, how the hell is this league profitable if the racers aren’t getting paid a lot and so much money is being spent on the cars and races. The money generated in F2 will go directly to the owner. The owner of the team is funding everything, so a lot of money generated in F2 is pumped directly back into the team. Teams will make a large chunk of their profits via sponsorships and promotions. 

There is not much information about how much money exactly each team will pull in from a year in Formula 2, but it remains somewhat profitable for owners. According to Forbes, Formula 2 generated just $21 million in revenue during the 2018 season through driver fees and sale of cars and equipment. 

We do know however that the wildly popular Netflix series ‘Drive to Survive’ spurred a significant amount of interest and hype around motorsports, specifically Formula racing. I believe with the recent increase in popularity, even leagues like Formula 2 and Formula 3 have become more profitable with less risk to fund. It still remains, Formula 2 is meant to facilitate growth and experience for aspiring professional motorsport athletes. 

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