Red Bull driver Max Verstappen has criticised FIA’s law that makes it necessary for F1 drivers to pay to feature in the 2023 season.
The two-time world champion termed the cost as being “absurd”, as all 20 drivers will be forced to pay differing amounts based on they performance last season.
The cost has been devised in such a way that the driver who was most successful in 2022 would have to pay the highest amount to feature in the sport this time around, with a fixed entry fee and variable cost based on the points of last season.
Max is the reigning champion in F1 and will therefore have to clear the largest bill, believed to be £847,809 ($1,023,256) bill.
“I think the amount is absurd,” Verstappen said.
“I don’t think it’s right that we have to pay so much.
“That’s not the case in other sports either. And there are more and more races.”
The saving grace for Max is that his team will foot the bill on his behalf.
Red Bull technical advisor Helmut Marko explained the details of Verstappen’s contract, which makes it imperative for the sports drink company to clear his tab.
“I’m afraid we have to pay that, if I have our contract right in my head,” Marko said.
Interestingly, Verstappen’s entry fee is almost twice the amount that Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton will be required to pay, with FIA giving him a bill of £452,524 ($545,742).
The bill includes a basic registration fee of €10,400 (£9,148 / $11,047) per driver, plus an extra €2,100 (£1,847 / $2,230) per point from the previous season.
Verstappen won a record number of races in 2022 (15) and while that must have given his team plenty of reason to celebrate last year, it has also led to a bill in excess of $1m just to compete in the 2023 season.
Below is the full list of how much each driver is meant to pay before the season starts in Bahrain.
How much does each F1 driver need to pay to race in 2023?
€963,800 (£847,809 / $1,023,256) Max Verstappen
€657,200 (£578,066 / $697,676) Charles Leclerc
€650,900 (£572,511 / $690,705) Sergio Perez
€587,900 (£517,199 / $623,853) George Russell
€527,000 (£463,622 / $559,228) Carlos Sainz
€514,400 (£452,524 / $545,742) Lewis Hamilton
€266,600 (£234,677 / $283,006) Lando Norris
€203,600 (£179,143 / $216,144) Esteban Ocon
€180,500 (£158,801 / $191,558) Fernando Alonso
€113,300 (£99,683 / $120,260) Valtteri Bottas
€58,700 (£51,640 / $62,293) Pierre Gasly
€48,200 (£42,405 / $51,166) Lance Stroll
€35,600 (£31,323 / $37,795) Yuki Tsunoda
€23,000 (£20,236 / $24,424) Guanyu Zhou
€18,800 (£16,527 / $19,963) Alex Albon
€14,600 (£12,853 / $15,503) Nyck de Vries
€10,400 (£9,142 / $11,043) Logan Sargeant
€10,400 (£9,142 / $11,043) Oscar Piastri
€10,400 (£9,142 / $11,043) Nico Hulkenberg
Will this entry fee be part of budget cap?
Apart from this, teams also have to pay a fee to enter, which is also based on their final standings from 2022.
This means that Red Bull will be forced to shell out £5m as a team to register for 2023.
This fee will be counted in the cost cap and Red Bull is all too familiar with the repercusions of that, with the Milton Keynes-based outfit having breached the budget in 2021.
They were forced to pay a financial penalty to the tune of $7 million as settlement for a “minor breach”, but more importantly, have also had to contend with a 10 per cent reduction in their wind tunnel development time.
In a sport that is dictated by fine margins, this could have a huge impact as the team already has lesser amount of time for aerodynamic development after winning the 2022 constructors’ championship.