Verstappen’s F1 license saga: Breaking the bank to break records

Brace yourself for an eye-popping moment, Formula 1 fans. Because Max Verstappen, the ultra-dominant triple world champion, is going to have to drop an eye-watering EUR 1 million for his FIA super license next season. It’s the elusive golden ticket that each F1 challenger must possess, but the fee structure is unique – combining a fixed sum with a variable cost based on the points a driver scores throughout the season.

As reported by Bianca Garloff in Auto Bild magazine, in 2023, the base fee started at a modest 10,400 euros. On top of that, drivers were required to cough up an extra 2,100 euros for every championship point they earned.

But here’s where the story gets seriously expensive for Red Bull’s dominant star: Verstappen’s 2023 season (so far) has seen him racking up an unprecedented number of points, leaving his competitors in the dust. Following his dominant performance leading up to the Abu Dhabi season finale later this month, the provisional bill for his super license after the Brazilian GP has skyrocketed to a mind-boggling 1,188,556 million euros and counting.

Now, hold onto your helmets because if the Dutchman secures probable victory in the Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi showdowns, that colossal figure could balloon to a staggering 1,307,647 million euros. Yes, you read that right – over 1.3 million euros for a driver’s license!

But the plot thickens. The FIA’s decision to increase super license costs for 2024 is reportedly in line with a 7 percent hike in team entry fees, signaling a significant financial shift across the F1 landscape. In the midst of this seismic change, however, Verstappen’s fellow racers are looking at considerably lighter fees. Sergio Perez, his teammate and likely runner-up in the championship, will owe a mere 600,000 euros or so – a relative bargain compared to Verstappen’s seven-figure bill.

On the other end of the spectrum, there’s rookie Logan Sargeant, who represents the epitome of cost efficiency, despite his rumoured $4 million crash damage bill in 2023. With just a single point for Williams to his name, the American’s super license bill could be as low as a humble 13,375 euros.

How does Verstappen feel about the financial whirlwind? Well, in response to the FIA recently quadrupling the maximum financial penalty to a whopping 1 million euros, he had quipped, “One mil! Maybe we can also sponsor the bottles of wine on the podium. I’ll get ready for that.”

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