How Much Does a Formula One Car Cost?

Published 12/09/2018, 11:56 AM EST

How much money do you need to build a Formula One car? According to some estimates, at least $12.2 million is required to build an F1 car. The FIA has made a number of changes concerning car designs in every season. This results in an increased cost of building the car with each new season.


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The budget of Formula One teams

The first thing to be kept in mind is that bigger F1 teams such as Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull, and McLaren spend almost $400 million a year to develop the best cars for the season. This includes the cost of staff members, mechanics, engineers, and drivers.


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Not all teams have the same budget. Some of them allocate anywhere between $250 million and $350 million budget each year.

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Cost of Formula One car engine 

Formula One cars are built with powerful engines that can produce great on-track speed. The engine is one of the most expensive parts of the F1 racing car since it is the most delicate.

The average price pf an F1 car engine is $10.5 million which varies according to the feature demands of the racing team managers and owners. F1 teams like Mercedes, Ferrari, and McLaren will definitely get the best help to reduce the cost of the engine.

A turbocharged 1.6-liter V6 engine accounts for 29% fuel efficiency it offers.

Cost of the wings and the steering wheel of a Formula One car

When the car picks acceleration on the track, wings play an important role in balancing during the turns. Around $300,000 is required to build a better front wing and nose cone. Some teams use less budget front wings which may cost them $150,000.

The rear wings will cost around $85,000 if they are upgraded by a better manufacturer.

The actual control of the car is through the steering wheel. The cost of the steering wheel ranges from $70,000 to $100,000.


How much petrol does the Formula One car consume in a single season?

The average formula one car uses almost $500,000 fuel worth of petrol during a season. Almost 200,000 liters in a single season during practice session and racing sessions. Fuel tank cost ($140,000) and some maintenance cost required for it because a single mistake can cause major fire damage in the car.

Cost of the gearbox and the tires of a Formula One car

The gearbox is another important component in the formula one cars. The cars mostly use highly sophisticated semi-automatic, seamless shift gearboxes. The gearbox costs are the highest for an F1 team – in the ballpark of $440,000.

Some teams did upgrade them before the season began to get better performance which cost them an extra $160,000. The hydraulics system of each car is said to be around $200,000.

There are three types of tires were used during the race. According to reports, a single set of Formula One tires costs $1715. The maximum limit of the tires used on the tracks is upto 20,000 miles.

A single accident can cause major damage to the car on track. Some reports came in 2015 and 2014 about the damage inflicted upon Formula One cars. The reports claimed that repairs can cost upto $550,000. This includes rear wings, front wings, chassis, and some parts of engines.


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Costs of an F1 car’s outer structure

The structure of an F1 car, also known as the carbon fibre monocoque costs around $650,000. Few racing teams go for normal body structure instead of expensive one. The chassis’ permissible weight limit put forward by the regulatory board accounts to 733 kg. This weight is inclusive of the driver’s weight but exclusive of the fuel.

Imagine how expensive this crash would have been


Estimated Costs

Front Wing & Nose Cone


Steering Wheel




Cooling System




Fuel Tank + Installation



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Dhruv George

12516 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.