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Monday, June 24, 2024

F1 crew bosses say ‘pay driver’ mannequin is {dead}

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Beforehand, drivers with important personal wealth or backing from main sponsors might successfully purchase a race seat at groups in the direction of the decrease finish of the grid who had been in want of a money injection.

However the rollout of the FIA Tremendous Licence – whereby a driver should accrue 40 factors based mostly on their ending place in different classes to be allowed to race in F1 – and the present business increase that the collection is having fun with has mitigated the necessity for ‘pay drivers’.

Whereas Williams crew principal James Vowles wants an F1 “rethink” over how the calendar, cost cap and sprint weekends with just one FP1 session disincentivises hiring a rookie driver, he stated the championship has advanced to not lean on wealth over expertise.

He stated: “Within the constructors’ championship, the gaps between us are, at instances, milliseconds. So, you need to have drivers within the automobile which might be – it is a meritocracy – acting at their utmost.

“So, this isn’t about simply bringing in a couple of million so as to fulfill the underside line.

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“The few million comes from the constructors’ championship by making a step relative to your friends. So, that is been a Positive change, I feel, for the game.”

Vowles added that groups had helped F1 transfer away from the ‘pay driver’ mannequin by investing within the junior single-seater ladder to make sure the lesser-funded drivers have a sensible shot at F1.

Crimson Bull is among the many groups that discipline drivers equivalent to Dennis Hauger in junior classes

Photograph by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

He continued: “Now, additionally what you are seeing is people, together with ourselves, we’re investing proper down on the stage of karting and paying for drivers to come back up.

“However the level is the funding is there from groups proper on the junior ranges so as to convey up and kind a meritocracy in order that by the point they arrive to us they’re skilled people.

“So, it is not that rookie drivers are {dead}, not by any stretch of the creativeness, however I feel this idea of taking a couple of million to place somebody within the automobile isn’t the best way that we will carry out lately, in any other case you will fall again.”

Outgoing AlphaTauri crew boss Franz Tost – who has overseen the formative F1 seasons of Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo – stated: “The pay driver is out.

“Initially, more often than not, the pay driver isn’t the quickest one and the FIA, with the Tremendous Licence, stopped this.”

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Guenther Steiner – the boss of the Haas crew that for 2022 reduce ties with Nikita Mazepin, whose father’s Uralkali firm was the outfit’s title sponsor – added: “Within the {old} days, you had groups which had been financially not secure.

“Now we have got 10 very strong groups right here so no one must depend on a pay driver proper now as a result of System 1 is in such a great place.”



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