How to become an F1 driver advice

What You Need To Know Before To Become An F1 Driver

how to become formula 1 driver

About the Age to Become an F1 Driver

But before we start, let’s make the point on one of the most sensitive questions in this area: “Is “N” too old to become an F1 driver?” You can substitute any number of years old as you wish. How old are you, 14, 25, 30, 45, 50, or more? In fact, it doesn’t matter. 

First, with the necessary practice, and money in your pocket, you can make your dream come true and get behind the wheel of the F1 car. 

Because who is an F1 driver? It is the driver who drives a Formula 1 car. 

Another side of the issue is it possible to participate in the racing at 25, 30, 45, etc. But let’s be honest, many other factors besides age decide it.

Although, you can hear how often Red Bull’s advisor Helmut Marko criticizes young drivers for their qualities, ages, and mistakes. Forget about it. In most cases, primary team members operate with the ideal concepts, which do not always suit reality. For example, Fernando Alonso, who continues to break the stereotypes.

What about the age go-karting to prepare for Formula 1, and why are they sure earlier is better? Going ahead, it has a reason. 

All current F1 drivers have started their racing career at the very bottom of the motorsport ladder, in karting, from around 8-14 years old. However, some have begun karting, even at 3-5 years old. 

Hamilton began racing go-kart when he was 8 and won many junior championships before debuting in Formula 1 at 22. Thanks to his father, Anthony. 

Fernando Alonso started at 3 and progressed to car racing at 17. His father has also played an essential role in his career. Like Alonso, Sebastian Vettel started when he was 3 and began racing in karts at 8. As for Max Verstappen, he began karting at 4 and arrived as Formula 1’s youngest-ever competitor at just 17 years old. Even more, at 24 years old, he became the youngest-ever F1 world champion.

Thus, they race in different series, such as WSK Cup, Easykart International, Open Masters, and CIK-FIA, between karting and Formulas.

As you see, at 5 years to start karting and 8 years to begin racing with a target to a Formula 1 is the golden standard. The fact that all these drivers complete the current grid is the best proof of the above.

But what are the origins of the approach to start racing before Formula 1 as earlier as possible? 

to become an f1 driver advice

Why so soon?

First, every young driver who wants to race is a potential champion. The younger they are – the more chances they have. Why is it that to start so soon? Just to grow a successful driver or the winner. Even if children don’t think about it, their families are. The earlier start means time to practice and prepare if you want. The case is that being the cutting edge technological sport, Formula 1 is a long-played game in terms of practice, but with the lack of time and possibilities to practice. That’s the paradox of this sport. 

So, unlikely Charles Leclerc is available to take his fast Ferrari F1 car home on holiday to practice. He has the time that is regulated and the track that is also controlled. Of course, they have unique simulators to practice, but let’s be honest, it is far outside the authentic racing atmosphere. Besides, the time to work with simulators for the current F1 drivers is also regulated. 

Another point to starting a racing career as soon as possible is that there are few options to practice in different countries and locations. For example, in some terms, drivers who are located in Europe are easier to get involved in the top racing than their opponents from South Asia. Just feel the difference between the careers of Karun Chandhok and Nico Rosberg. Of course, many factors are behind it, but it is still a part of that and makes sense. To better understand it, let’s look at the qualities of a successful F1 driver. 

how to become an f1 driver guide

Advice if You Decided to Become an F1 driver

So, what are the qualities of successful F1 drivers? They fast, they have the best car, and they win, right? In fact, it is more complex, as everything we see at the end is just a result of something more. Thus, everyone knows Max Verstappen as the youngest F1 world champion, but only a few know how much time he spent at the wheel instead of having simple childhood things like spending time with friends or playing games. Many F1 fans know Lewis Hamilton as a seven-time world champion and self-centered person, but not so many realize he surfaced racial abuse all his teens. Pick any one of the F1 drivers on the grid, and you will find the personal story behind the success. However, their success has common features. So, here is the advice.

#1 Be Talented

Did you know that among the F1 drivers, Ayrton Senna is recognized as the most talented ever racer? We can’t argue that. But talent is not something that people are born with. Instead, talent is the way of life. It is the mix of discipline, self-focusing on the worthy things, and practice rather than a meaningless pastime, if you want. Being talented is to understand goals and wishes with dedicated work with them.

It doesn’t mean you must leave things you like and start to work hard right now. It means that talent is the only thing you can manage and develop, depending only on your own. Even if everything turns the wrong way, one thing you will always have – your talent and no one can’t prevent it. Therefore it is always about discipline.

How to become an F1 driver Ayrton Senna

Ayrton Senna was always focused on racing, no matter where he was or what he did. In each of his interviews, he is talking about Formula 1. Moreover, he was thinking about the sport’s aspects and influence on the people. In some terms, Ayrton Senna came to symbolize Formula 1

Another great person, Enzo Ferrari, was always focused on his job, but it is not the traditional sense of the job as we get used to thinking, but it was the way of his life. Even after World WarII, when he had to rebuild his factory in Modena, he was focused on engineering the cars. He was the most outstanding talent in motorsport because he never stopped to improve his skill – to design cars.  

Scuderia Ferrari 166 F2

Be disciplined and work with your talent. Wanted to enter Formula 1, then you have to practice. Do practice in each possible way. As long and as more as possible to improve your racing talent.  

Ferrari Formula 1 team rivalry

#2 Be Professional

If you decide to become an F1 driver, be professional with your own. Look at the current driver’s grid. All of them, from Yuki Tsunoda to George Russell, are professionals. They practiced a lot and learned many, and their awards from different junior and kart championships are proof of that. 

Unlike you will find an F1 driver who rented the track days and did practice on his own built car before entering Formula 1. That time has long passed. So, every driver started with the karting. You decided to become an F1 driver – then go to the karting school. They won many karting championships, which means you must do the same to join Formula 1. Of course, no one guarantees you will succeed, but it is worth trying. 

Besides, each FIA World Championship racer must have a special license. As to racing in Formula 1, every driver needs a Super Licence. But before the super license, they need an FIA International Grade A license and a driver’s license to drive anything. Moreover, the doors of the glamorous sport have been opened for racers since they reached 18 years old. 

If the steps to be professional in racing are clear, then it is not all about the other side of that. Thus, current F1 drivers are also proficient in the other side of the sport as the business.  

Every racing driver intensely depends on sponsorship, especially in Formula 1. Good subsidies may sometimes be decisive. Therefore, you often may see drivers in the advertising of clothes, bags, or cars, like current Alpha Tauri drivers. It is their contractual obligation. Thus, today’s drivers are professional racers and good businessmen. Of course, they do it with a group of managers, PRs, layers, etc. However, social media image and business negotiations make sense. Do keep this in mind.

how to become formula 1 driver advice

#3 Do Have a Plan

 Let’s be honest; there is no space for the fluke in Formula 1 today. In all cases, when one driver gets behind the wheel of the famous team, it is a well-planned maneuver. Nico Hulkenberg may be the only exception. He had to replace different drivers in the past and finally returned to the sport. The other cases are well-planned deals by a personal manager, like Oscar Piastri, who joined McLaren. His personal manager is a former F1 driver Mark Webber. 

Vice versa, when the driver decides to leave Formula 1, he also has a plan. To switch to the Indycar, like it Marcus Ericsson did, or try Nascar, like Kimi Raikkonen, or even to try the FIA World Rally Championship like Robert Kubica. 

Even the driver’s moves between the teams are a well-planned contract negotiated before the season starts. So, you have to be ready to change your plans, but you need a good one before starting a career as an F1 driver. For example, think about the different racing championships of the FIA; it has a lot of options.  

What makes sense the most, it is essential to stay focused, as you may lose your goal at all. Remember, race results speak more than the number of races drivers completed or not. 

#4 Be positive Self-centered

Positive self-centered people don’t have anything in common with egoistic. The case is when you know what you want, you are on the way to making your dream come true. However, the dream becomes a bit hard because it relates to the top of motor racing. Therefore, sometimes it may be energy intensive in terms of mental health and mental power. 

Moreover, your way will be filled up with ups and downs. Positive self-centered people focus on needs and wants and think about improving things. It helps them to keep a cold mind and a hot heart. 

Besides, a positive focus on itself helps to improve self-discipline and to make willpower well to avoid overreacting to other people’s opinions. Overall it helps to keep the mind clear. 

Why it makes sense? If you once met the F1 drivers on the street, you noted they are calm and friendly. They are self-focused. Such a quality provides them to ignore unproductive but destructive criticism. 

When Sebastian Vettel switched to the Ferrari after four championship victories in Red Bull F1 team and didn’t meet the expectations of the F1 community, he was exhausted. After five years of struggling, he was good enough to ignore other people saying he had to leave F1 and finished second in the 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.  

So, keep your mind calm and open for healthy criticism, but stay focused. 

F1 slang on tyres

#5 Maintain Your Drive

You must always keep your drive once you decide to be an F1 driver. Sounds strange, but sometimes racers are losing this feeling. It happens when they are exhausted or surfaced a lousy luck time. 

Honestly, there is no clear answer on how to do that. Because each F1 driver has their own secret techniques. Some bet on motivation, which we explained in the best F1 quotes post, while others try to keep their selves always inspired.

However, Max Verstappen once gave the drivers a piece of accurate advice. He said, “Take it one step at a time.” Impossible to argue that, as it prevents you from wasting energy, which is the direct reason to lose the drive. 

Formula 1 fans gifts ideas guide

#6 Surround Yourself with Good people

You may ask who those good people are and how to find them. It’s a good question. Good people are people who appreciate you for the way you are. These are not those who praise you all day long; no, they aren’t. Good people tell the truth and criticize if needed, but they support you on your way to becoming a racer and even F1 driver. 

In Formula 1, relations have an essential impact, as it has in any other world racing championship. Good ties help to improve a career, sign better contracts, find new sponsors, and even improve racing results.  

You will wonder, but Niki Lauda was a mentor for Lewis Hamilton and the entire Mercedes team. Lauda convinced young Hamilton to sign a contract with Mercedes. As a result, the world sees the seven-time F1 champion.  

In Ferrari, Carlos Sainz Jr’s father has a crucial role in the son’s career and promotion. Unlikely, Sainz Jr. would move from Toro Rosso to Ferrari then.

Besides, many drivers are friends in Formula 1 but do not have many friends in real life. Why is this so? Finding good people behind is hard, especially if you’re famous and wealthy.

So, on the way to start your career in F1, surround yourself with good people, but treasure them as much as possible. 

Ferrari F1 reasons why they are not winning

#7 You need Essential Funding

How much? Well, enough to make you give up on becoming an F1 driver. Think about this. Entering Formula 1 may take over 10 years of 200% dedication and cost about $ 10 million. Moreover, the success rate will be shallow. Formula 1 is a costly sport with the highest competition! 

Stop talking about how much and tell where it is to find so much money to race in Formula 1, you may say. Unfortunately, we have no idea, but we have a few thoughts on the matter. Thus, top drivers have a personal manager who knows investments and laws. Second, in most cases, this manager finds the possibilities for the sponsorships contract with different companies. 

Let’s make a point, finding a good manager and a good sponsor is the only way, at least if you are not the son or daughter of a billionaire.

But on the other hand, it is a highly-paid sport. You also have chances to become a billionaire, in theory. We have already compared the F1 drivers’ salaries, where their differences may reach even ten times! 

Well, if it’s any consolation, a lot of money can help you to become an F1 driver, but it cannot guarantee you will stay longer. Thus, despite a good sponsorship, Antonie Giovinazzi‘s career didn’t last long, but only for three years that he spent on the Haas F1 team. However, if not, you can lift up to Point #3.

how to become an f1 driver

#8 You have to be Lucky

Let’s be honest, outside the money, good people, etc., there is still something that calls fortune; however, it has helped many drivers. Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Lewis Hamilton, and Max Verstappen are lucky drivers. In some terms, they found the right spot. 

Also, you wonder, but F drivers are very superstitious. They have their own rules and signs, such as on which side to sit in the car, which hand to take on the glove first, and more. Moreover, mysterious is also has a place to be even in the bad luck of the Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team.

However, you also have your own signs and beliefs. Sounds weird, but let your heart open, your intuition work, and listen to yourself. And yes, it also makes sense to become an F1 driver, as sometimes fortune can have a crucial role, even if everything else doesn’t work. 

Instead of conclusion

Concluding the above, to become an F1 driver means gathering over ten million in the pocket, good people, and good luck, to be constantly inspired and motivated with 200% dedicated work for shallow prospects. A slim picking.

However, it is still something more that many people worldwide dream of. Although, among all the above, you need to know that talent in racing is the only thing you can lay on, develop and practice. Racing talent doubled with positive self-focus and dedication works miracles. 

To end this post, we have to with a story. In 2020, very talented Mexican driver Sergio Perez was on the way to leaving Formula 1; however, being competitive and scoring points at the wheel of a mid-grid Racing Point car. Despite the expectations, he won Sakhir Grand Prix in 2020 and was crying. Perez was sure it was for the last time. That time he didn’t know that Red Bull principals had already decided to sign him as Max Vestappen’s teammate. So, you will never know where and how your dream will come true or who is watching your success.

Therefore, even if you race or decide to race in Formula 1, the only thing you can do is take your chances.