x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Speed merchants' Grand Prix dreams fuelled by vastly differing resources

Formula One has always been glamorous, fast and dangerous, a combination that naturally attracts widespread adulation - and potloads of cash.

Formula One has always been glamorous, fast and dangerous, a combination that naturally attracts widespread adulation - and potloads of cash.
That is particularly true for today's drivers, who are among the highest paid sportsmen in the world.
Heading the grid of driver salaries is the former world champion Fernando Alonso, who gets paid a basic ?30 million (Dh141.3m) for piloting his Ferrari around the world's F1 circuits.
But other former champs are in the volatile Spaniard's slipstream - just about. His one-time teammate Lewis Hamilton will pick up ?16m for his heroics in the McLaren-Mercedes this season, while the current champion Sebastian Vettel has to settle for a mere ?10m for the privilege of spanking his Red Bull Racing machine around the tracks.
But spare a thought for the no-hopers due to get their leathers on at today's race. In 21st equal are Bruno Senna for Williams and Narain Karthikeyan at HRT, who have to struggle by on just ?250,000 apiece.
However, that is significantly more than the daredevils who bring up the last two places. Paul di Resta, who drives for Force India F1, scrapes by on ?200,000, while his fellow pauper Charles Pic at Marussia somehow makes ends meet on just ?150,000.
So it's a good job the teams pay for the cars, not the men at the wheels.
At least 11 engines are used by each driver in a season - at a total cost of some ?1.8m.
chnelson@thenational.ae