In the meantime, Formula 1 teams push for ever-higher performance, and the cost of making the F1 car has increased. In general, the higher the amount of money spent on the grand prix car, the more quickly it will go. There’s also a base cost to build a decent grand-price car.
We spoke with Pat Symonds, designer of the title-winning 2005 and 2006 Renault cars, who has also worked for Williams and Marussia before his current position as F1 Chief Technical Director to provide an authoritative perspective on the cost of an F1 car actually costs.
“It’s terribly difficult,” the man says when attempting to calculate the value of the world’s most expensive car. “In my current job, I’m constantly asking teams what they’re spending for certain parts.
“Sometimes teams don’t want to say, sometimes they don’t know – but I’ve got a few snippets, and I can estimate the cost increase with inflation from my years at Marussia.”
In the past, the cost of creating and creating a top-level F1 vehicle prior to 2021 might be as high as $400 million (PS282m). But there is a budget limit of $145 million (PS102m) for teams’ entire operation now set for 2021 and beyond, before decreasing to $140 million (PS98m) by 2022 and $135m (PS95m) in 2023, teams will need to be more efficient in the way they design and build their vehicles.
Below are the manufacturing costs involved in making an F1 car. Research and development costs are completely separate and do not figure in the calculation.
How much money will you require to build an air wing on the front? Would a steering wheel set you back a lot? With the assistance of Symonds, we’ve put together an outline of the major component of the F1 vehicle costs.
It is also the primary element that makes up an F1 car. All extra parts, including wings on either side and the halo, are connected to it.
It’s a monocoque single piece creating an enclosure around the driver. Indestructible and twice as durable as steel and five times more light, it’s typically made of 12 layers of carbon fiber mats.
It usually weighs about 35kgs, but it also needs to bear the weight of all other components and bear a massive aerodynamic loads.
Rear wing, as well as DRS
They play a significant role in generating the necessary downforce that is required by an F1 car and providing it with the additional grip in corners that can significantly reduce lap times, the rear and front wings are pricey despite their dimensions.
Both are developed to race and thus rack cost-intensive design and construction. However, the complexity of the front wings and nosecone makes them more costly than the rear.
A front-wing construction is among the most complex and essential elements of the vehicle. Much of the F1 car’s performance is due to the force generated by its downforce.
Since the introduction of new aerodynamic regulations into effect in 2017, the designs have become increasingly complex. This could push the price of a tiny component way up.
The halo was developed by the Cranfield Impact Centre, the halo was developed at the Cranfield Impact Centre and is used to shield drivers’ heads from broken wings, wheels, and other debris that can be that fly off in crashes.
“We tested it to take over 100 Kilonewtons,” he stated (roughly equivalent to 10.2 tonnes, or the equivalent of two African elephants crashing on it at the same time). “It’s difficult to work out what the exact force [of Grosjean’s accident] was, but the fact that it remained intact would imply that it was less than what was actually tested.”
Since its inception, the halo’s protection has been provided to drivers like Romain Grosjean Charles Leclerc and Valtteri Bottas during some of F1’s biggest crashes.
Bargeboards and floor
The floors of the F1 car account for about 60 percent of its downforce, which makes it crucial to find efficiency. In the process, they’ve become more complicated and expensive to build. The FIA tried to reduce downforces on safety grounds in 2021 by cutting off a portion of the floor close to the wheels in the rear.
Naturally, in response to the new rules, aerodynamicists from teams are searching for new ways to generate downforce other parts of the floor, for example, by making new flaps and flicks in sections that are not restricted.
Furthermore, F1 cars’ bargeboard areas have become extremely complex following the aero regulations that were loosened in the region in 2017. The construction of these sections also costs an enormous amount of money.
PS: “These days, because F1 car floor designs can incorporate the outer 100mm, which has all these intricate features in it, combined with bargeboards – which are massively expensive – floors are approaching the PS100,000 mark now.”
F1 has been running the same turbocharged 1600cc V6 engine (or the Power Units) since 2014. The engines were developed to improve performance, but the technical rules governing their specifications have remained largely the same.
Composed of six elements, the PUs have an internal combustion Engine (ICE) as well as a Turbocharger (TC), and Motor Generator Unit-Kinetic (MGU-K) as well as Motor Generator Unit-Heat (MGU-H), and the energy store, i.e., battery (ES) as well as Control Electronics (CE).
PS: “The regulations call for the customer to be provided with EUR12m (PS10.34m). However, there is no way to pay this amount for their engines because of the many other parts and pieces that are included.
“Customers are paying something in the region of EUR15m (PS12.92m) for one engine.”
F1 cars are equipped with semi-automatic gearboxes with eight gears for forward as well as one reverse.
All F1 automobiles have an automated paddle-shifter system that enables seamless shifting that takes around 0.05 sec.
Some teams purchase gearboxes from other teams, whereas some create their own. Haas has a year-old Ferrari gearbox that is coupled with 2021’s Scuderia engine, whereas McLaren continues to create its own gearbox despite changing to Mercedes engines in 2021.
F1 tank fuel is virtually indestructible and is made of polyurethane and Kevlar.
The ‘bag’ that holds fuel is ribbed and created to be able to fit into that space in front of the chair and is also connected to the seat to prevent the bag from bursting as the fuel dries.
Wheels for steering
F1 wheel steering is made predominantly of expensive carbon fiber and is also equipped with silicon grips.
McLaren Applied Technologies supplies the standard ECU that this steering wheel is built on and is limited to 20 buttons, 9 rotary switches, as well as six paddles. But, each switch and button function is adjustable to suit the specific needs of each team.
Despite its dimensions, the plethora of technological possibilities for the wheel makes it useful.
An F1 car may completely fail without its hydraulics system, which is responsible for nine subsystems in the car.
- Power steering
- Reverse gear
- DRS system
- Brake wire for wire
- Inlet valves
- Turbo Wastegate
It is not just complicated, but the implementation is incredibly difficult, which increases the cost of implementing the program.
Pads and brake discs
Based on how complex the cooling holes are machined by, depending on the complexity of the cooling holes, the cost of an F1 brake disc will cost anywhere between 2000 dollars (PS1420) and three thousand dollars (PS2120).
The pads are less expensive, priced at $780 (PS550) per pad.
Calipers will cost about 5600 dollars (PS4000) each, and master cylinders that are used to create pressure in fluids could cost five hundred dollars (PS3800) each. Disc bells, which secure the disc in place to the axle and are priced at ($2800) PS2000 per. The brake and accelerator pedals cost about PS7000.
A complete F1 brake system could cost as high as 66,000 dollars (PS55,000).
Bespoke F1 Tyres aren’t cheap.
Designed to provide the best performance on a small number of laps, they are made by Pirelli. They are the Italian firm’s slick Dry tyres that come in medium, hard, or soft compounds, the specifications of which will vary from race to race.
Soft tyres have the best grip, but their performance falls off prior to hard tyres that have a slower time to lap; however, they are more durable.
Pirelli also makes Wet as well as Intermediate tyres that are suitable for wet conditions.
PS: “I was actually in a discussion with Pirelli Head of F1the Italian driver Mario Isola this morning and we were discussing the cost of tyres. He explained that it is EUR600 (PS520) for a Tyre .”
Additional charges for Wheel bearings/chassis wiring looms/ driveshafts
We’ll leave you with the entire list of ancillaries that are required for making the Formula 1 car run, but the lengthy list of smaller components quickly gets to.
The PT says: “One that might surprise you is a chassis loom which would cost you PS25,000. A wheel bearing will cost PS1100 for each, and driveshafts are priced around PS7000 .”