How Much Does a Formula One Car Cost?

Published 12/09/2018, 11:56 AM EST
Formula One F1- Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – December 4, 2021 Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel in action during practice REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

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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What is the cost of a formula one 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.

Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 5, 2021 Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll after crashing during qualifying REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

The average price of 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, which evolved from the much louder V12, V10 and V8, accounts for 29% fuel efficiency it offers. The engines of the hybrid era could also deliver up to 1050 hp but mostly varies depending on the teams and the circuits. In the year 2021, the top speed that an F1 car managed to attain was 231 mph.

How much do the Formula One front and rear wing cost?

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. Its value has only been bolstered since F1 introduced the concept of the Drag Reduction System (DRS) into the frame. Front and rear wings, in general, play a pivotal role in generating a lot of downforce and keeping the cars intact, especially around high-speed corners where they can reach up to 180 mph (Copse at Silverstone).

How much does a Formula One steering wheel cost?

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

Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 20, 2021 Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen in action during practice REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

How much does Formula One fuel cost?

The average formula one car uses almost $500,000 fuel worth of fuel during a season. Almost 200,000 liters in a single season during practice sessions and racing sessions. Each race can witness drivers burning up to 110 liters of fuel.

Fuel tank cost ($140,000) and some maintenance cost required for it because a single mistake can cause major fire damage in the car. The fuel tanks in F1 cars these days can hold up to 140 liters of fuel.

How much does a Formula One gearbox cost?

The gearbox is another important component in 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.

How much does a Formula One hydraulic system cost?

The hydraulics system of each car is said to be around $200,000.

How much does a Formula One set of tires cost?

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 up to 20,000 miles.

Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – September 25, 2021 A man pushes wheels as FP3 is cancelled due to rain ahead of qualifying REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

How much does a Formula One chassis cost?

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

Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – August 1, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas collides with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez Pool via REUTERS/Peter Kohalmi

How much can a crash in Formula One cost?

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

Component CostsEstimated Costs
Front Wing & Nose Cone$300,000
Steering Wheel$70,000
Hydraulics$200,000
Cooling System$220,000
Tires$2700
Chassis$700,000
Fuel Tank + Installation$140,000
Halo$17,000
Gearbox$400,000
Rear-Wing$150,000
Engine$9,000,000
Total$1,11,99,700

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Dhruv George

13576 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Motorsports author 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.

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