Discussion: Pay To Drive – A Necessary Evil?

This week saw the Formula 1 world focus its attention on the annual Young Driver Test. What is traditionally the opportunity for young talent to demonstrate their prowess behind the wheel of a contemporary Formula 1 car, the Young Driver Test is in reality restricted mostly to those who can afford the opportunity.

It’s a harsh reality in motorsport, but if you want to play you have to pay. The costs of running a Formula 1 car and team are astronomical and with world finances in the state that they’re in, it’s no surprise that teams aren’t rushing out there to leave just anyone to drive one of their vehicles. Being at the pinnacle of motorsport comes at a price.

On the other hand, how do we know that the drivers on the starting grid are truly the best drivers of this generation? What if there’s someone sat behind a desk somewhere struggling to make ends meet, but if given the same financial backing and opportunities as others, could be the best driver we’ve ever (never?) seen?

This, of course, is not a problem unique to Formula 1 but to all forms of traditional motorsport. In fact, I can’t immediately think of any other sporting discipline where raw talent can be defeated by a bottomless bag of cash.

So, what say you? What can be done to help those who have the talent but perhaps not the financial backing to break into the elite of world motorsport?

Paddy McGrath
Twitter: @PaddyMcGrathSH
Instagram: speedhunters_paddy

Photo Courtesy of Team Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

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