Flow Racers is a reader-supported site. Purchases made through links may earn a commission.

Do F1 Teams Get Paid For Points? (Bonuses Explained)

Formula 1 teams will always do their best to fight for points. The more points a team scores, the higher they will finish in the World Constructors’ championship – where the real money is handed out. However, you may be wondering if F1 teams get paid for points.

F1 teams don’t get paid for points, but they will be paid prize money based on their finishing position in the constructors’ standings. This means that the more points they score, the more prize money they stand to win, with teams getting anywhere from $35 million to $100+ million.

So, F1 teams need to make sure that they score as many points as possible. The prize money on offer is why you’ll see teams fighting hard even if it’s for eighth place in the constructors’ standings. Below, we’ll take a closer look at F1’s point system, and why it’s so important for constructors.

How Does The F1 Points System Work?

The Formula 1 point system is relatively simple. The top 10 drivers who finish the race will score points. The points they score in each race will be tallied up into a total, which is then recorded in the World Driver’s Standings. The World Constructors’ Championship combines teammates’ points.

Each Formula 1 team has 2 drivers. The team’s points are a combination of the points totals that both drivers have. For example, if the one driver scores 6 points in a race, and the other driver scores 2 points, the team will score a total of 8 points for the Grand Prix.

F1 drivers will score points based on their finishing position as below:

  • 1st – 25 points
  • 2nd – 18 points
  • 3rd – 15 points
  • 4th – 12 points
  • 5th – 10 points
  • 6th –  8 points
  • 7th – 6 points
  • 8th – 4 points
  • 9th – 2 points
  • 10th – 1 point

Teams need to try and score as many points as possible in order to finish higher up in the constructors’ championship. It’s a constant battle between every team as they try to extract as much as they can out of the car that they have built and developed.

The development race becomes incredibly important too. If a team can bring upgrades to races sooner than their rivals, there’s a good chance that they can score more points than them. However, a Formula 1 season is long, and all teams will eventually bring upgrades to their cars, so one team could end up being faster than another by the end of the season.

Do F1 Drivers Get Paid For Scoring Points?

F1 drivers do not get paid for scoring points. They are not given any prize money by the FIA or Formula 1 for scoring points, but their teams may pay them bonuses. The points the drivers score simply count towards their total for the season, helping them fight for the World Championship.

However, every driver has their own contract set up with their team. In this contract, the driver could have some bonuses incorporated into it as an incentive. Drivers don’t need an incentive to drive their car faster or perform better, but it’s an added performance bonus for many drivers.

The bonuses can vary, but some teams may offer a monetary bonus for scoring points. This will vary from driver to driver. Some drivers might get bonuses for race wins, podiums, or even each point that they have scored.

On the other hand, some drivers are not given any performance bonuses. It completely depends on the contract that the driver has in place with their team. Kimi Raikkonen is one driver who had performance-related bonuses when he signed for Lotus in 2012.

Kimi Raikkonen’s Points Bonuses At Lotus

When Kimi Raikkonen signed on, Lotus offered him a monetary bonus for every point he scored. Raikkonen and Lotus F1 team signed a contract that sealed the Iceman’s return to the sport after a 2-year sabbatical. His return to the sport was incredible, despite joining the struggling Lotus team. 

Raikkonen would earn $53,000 for every point that he scored during the 2012 season. As it turns out, Lotus built a decent car and Raikkonen racked up a total of 390 points during the season, which meant the bonuses added up to a hefty sum!

KEY FACT: Raikkonen’s bonuses ended up costing the Lotus F1 team a total of more than $20 million, nearly leading them into bankruptcy!

Kimi Raikkonen’s return to Formula 1 was incredibly successful as the Finn grabbed several podium finishes and even two race wins. His teammate Romain Grosjean also performed well, but unfortunately did not have the same bonus scheme in place as Raikkonen did.

F1 Super Licence Additional Costs For Point

F1 drivers need to pay a set amount of money for their Super Licence for every World Championship point that they scored during their previous season (unless they are a new driver of course). This cost is estimated to be around $2,000 per point, making it more expensive the better you perform.

Formula 1 drivers are also responsible for renewing their Super License every season. The estimated cost of renewing a Super License to race in Formula 1 is between $10,000 and $20,000, not including the extra amount they must pay based on how many points they earn.

The Super License renewal fees have been a hot topic of debate in the Formula 1 community, but drivers have never expressed any issues regarding the rule. Formula 1 drivers earn enough money to pay the fees, and these can be considered their entry fees to race for the next season.

KEY POINTS

• F1 drivers do not earn money based on the number of points they score

• Instead, they are paid a salary by their team (and potentially extra from sponsors)

• Their contract may include bonus clauses for the points they score

• F1 drivers need to pay a Super Licence fee based on how many points they scored during the previous season

Do F1 Teams Get Paid For Points?

F1 teams do not get paid for the number of points they score throughout the course of a season. However, the number of points that they score will determine their results in the constructors’ standings, which is what determines the amount of prize money that they will be given.

There’s a big difference in the amount of prize money that is given to each finishing position in the championship, which is why teams will fight tooth and nail over any points in Formula 1. The backmarkers and midfield teams will celebrate scoring points as if they have won a race in some cases.

Scoring points, no matter how few, can mean the difference between finishing 9th or finishing 10th at the end of the season for the backmarker teams. Finishing 9th rather than 10th means that the team will be given more prize money that they can put towards the next season’s car.

Aside from a performance bonus, each team is also given a base bonus for competing in Formula 1. This is an equal amount divided between all teams. The basic bonus also depends on the amount of profit that Formula 1 generates throughout the season.

How F1 Prize Money Is Divided Between Teams

F1 teams are given prize money based on where they finish in the constructors’ championship. There’s a sliding scale that calculates how much each position earns. For example, the team in 1st place might earn 18% of the prize fund, while the team in 2nd may earn 15% of the prize fund.  

The entire prize fund comes from a portion of Formula 1‘s profits for the year. About 50% of the sport’s total profit makes up these prize pools. While Formula 1 never officially states how much each team is given, the method behind calculating the prize money for each finishing position has been revealed (to an extent).

This system is fair because the sliding scale and the total amount of profit that the sport makes determines how much each team will get. This system is much more sustainable than simply putting out a set figure for how much each position will earn.

Why Is Prize Money Important In Formula 1?

Prize money is incredibly important for teams in Formula 1 as it’s a sport where you need to use money to improve. If a team performs well in a season, there is a good chance they will be performing well in the next season as long as they don’t make any mistakes in the design of their car.

Having a prize pool that is divided between teams based on where they finish also gives teams incentive to keep competing, even if they are backmarker teams. Prize money can make a big difference to a backmarker team, especially when it comes to fighting their way up the grid in the next couple of seasons. Of course, there’s a lot more to making a good F1 team than just finances though.

Having this prize fund in place also gives teams an incentive to keep fighting at every race to keep the spectacle going. We wouldn’t stop racing after a team has won the World Championship with 3 races to go. That’s because finishing 2nd or 3rd matters, and it’s incredibly important when it comes to the extra prize money on offer.

Having prize money on offer (especially a base bonus) makes the championship more sustainable. There’s less chance of teams running out of money and withdrawing from the championship, and it ensures that Formula 1’s future is safe in terms of competition.

F1 Heritage Bonus Payments Explained

Only a few F1 teams, such as Ferrari and McLaren, are eligible for the heritage bonus, also known as the historical bonus. This bonus is awarded to teams who have competed for a long time. Because these teams play an important role in the history of the sport, they get a larger share of the profits.

The team that currently receives the largest heritage bonus from Formula 1 is Ferrari. The Italian outfit has been in Formula 1 since the start, and it has competed in every single season since the sport was first introduced. While many different teams have come and gone, Ferrari has always been there.

It’s unclear exactly how much the heritage bonus is that Ferrari gets, but reports have shown that it is somewhere in the range of $50-100 million per year. Ferrari is not allowed to use these funds in the sport though, and the bonus money is awarded to the Ferrari Group instead of the Scuderia Ferrari team.

McLaren and Williams are the second and third oldest teams in F1 respectively, and they receive bonus payments too, although they are substantially lower than the bonus Ferrari earns

KEY POINTS

• While F1 teams don’t get paid for points, they do get paid prize money at the end of the season

• The amount they get depends on where they finish in the Constructors’ Championship

• This prize money can be used to develop and upgrade their cars for the following season

• Some teams get paid additional bonus payments for being in the sport for a long time

Final Thoughts

F1 teams don’t get paid for points, but they are paid prize money based on where they finish in the constructors’ standings. These standings are determined by the points a team gets during a season, and the total for the team is made up of the combined points totals of their 2 drivers.