Verstappen pays record fee for super licence with record number of points

F1 News

5 November at 08:29
Last update 5 November at 09:02
  • GPblog.com

You can only drive in Formula 1 if you hold a super licence. This special racing licence also imposes a special 'super licence tax' on F1 drivers that is calculated per F1 point achieved. So for Max Verstappen, there will be a hefty reckoning this year.

'F1 drivers can contribute more to their own safety'

In 2008, it was decided by former driver and then FIA president Max Mosley that the amount for the annual renewal of the super licence needed to go up significantly. In 2007, drivers were still paying 1725 euros annually, they were also charged 456 euros for every F1 point they gained. That fee was drastically increased the following year. From then on, drivers paid a whopping 10,400 euros a year and 2,100 euros for each F1 point gained.

Mosley's reasoning was that F1 drivers were earning enough and should be allowed to contribute more. After all, the money from this so-called tax goes into pots to improve safety in F1. Because there are big differences between the earnings of all drivers, the tax per point is a good outcome according to the FIA. A driver earning less is likely to drive for a weaker team and therefore score fewer points.

Points record and tax record for Verstappen

In the 15 years since this decision, not much seems to have changed, although it is claimed that the points bonus has remained the same and the annual renewal would now cost a maximum of €20,000. In any case, the bottom line for 2022 is that Verstappen can still make a hefty post-season payment at the end of the year. Indeed, the Dutchman achieved a record number of points in a season with his Mexico GP victory. Contracts of several F1 drivers (in the case of Verstappen's new contract, this has not been confirmed but is likely) also include bonuses per point. With such an agreement, the team indirectly pays per point.

Assuming the €10,400 renewal fee and €2,100 per point for Verstappen's current 416 points in the 2022 championship, he comes out to a fee of €884,000. For a driver of this calibre, the basic fee is a mere pittance. Since there are two more race weekends in this season with a sprint race as well, Verstappen could theoretically score another sixty F1 points. This could put him just over a million euros in fees. That means the Dutchman will set a rock-solid points record, but also pay a prohibitively expensive record bill.