Meet the new grid, same as the old grid


World Champion
Valued Member
I think what's evolving is a grid where you have the 12 best drivers in the world and the 12 richest drivers in the world, or there or thereabouts.

In reply to this and Brogan 's points - wasn't it always thus? (This is possibly a completely separate thread)

The whole sport evolved from people who could a) afford a car or, b) afford to build their own car to go racing and c) afford to crash it. (see Prince Birabongse Bhanudej Bhanubandh)

In the 50's and 60's you had the garagistas vs the manufacturers in the 70's and 80's you had the rich playboys who wanted to drive fast, in the 90's and 00's they were still there but in fewer numbers and in the 10's? they have returned due to financial circumstances be it through sponsorship through the lower formulae or through the big bag marked $$ they throw at at team.

Whilst I acknowledge that some of these are seat blockers for the truly talented who don't have the cash, it's always happened and it always will, I'd love to have the 24 best drivers on the grid but the old adage remains, cash is king.

(I couldn't find a pay drivers thread, if there is one please move this there)
Speshal - I think in the height of the manufacturer era of F1, say 2002-09, approaching 90% of the grid was there based on talent, with only Jordan and Minardi (or their successor teams) running one or both cars with pay drivers.

It is true to say that throughout history, a wheelbarrow full of cash has been a great passport to F1, though.
Which group would you put Bira in? Probably a) as he could not afford a car to be really competitive in F1.

I think that the first racing car books that I read were those about Bira, very interesting.
Does that mean teams are going for talent and a little bit of money, or drivers with mega amount money? As that's an incredible amount.
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