What is a pay driver?

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Ok, by that logic, Ferrari have a pay driver (Alonso), and so do McLaren. Just because a driver can bring sponsorship does not make them a pay-driver!!!

ermmmm no because Mr Alonso, Mr Hamilton and Mr Button are all paid a wage to drive for their teams and the sponsors pay them to be associated with them and pay the team to be associated with them. Mr Senna and Mr Maldonado have big companies behind them who say to Williams (or whoever) that they'd be happy to fund their F1 team as long as their driver was at the wheel to which the team says thats fine but we're not bloomin paying them you are.

Big difference.
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
ermmmm no because Mr Alonso, Mr Hamilton and Mr Button are all paid a wage to drive for their teams and the sponsors pay them to be associated with them and pay the team to be associated with them. Mr Senna and Mr Maldonado have big companies behind them who say to Williams (or whoever) that they'd be happy to fund their F1 team as long as their driver was at the wheel to which the team says thats fine but we're not bloomin paying them you are.

Big difference.

So you're saying that teams like McLaren and Ferrari don't take on drivers because of their marketability? Since that's clearly not true! Look at Mercedes - They wanted an all German team, as that would be more marketable in Germany!
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
A pay driver is not simply a term to describe a driver whose presence brings in financial advantage to the team who he is driving for. Pay driver, in my belief, is a term which sets apart those drivers who could justifiably claim to be amongst the best 24 race-car drivers in European single seater formulae, and those whose claims are spurious.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Pay Driver is often used as a derogatory term but there have been some good drivers who have bought their way into F1, Niki Lauda being the best example. That said, there have been some complete numpties, many of whom Bernie Ecclestone employed in the early 80's.
 

Viscount

Pole Sitter
Contributor
Doesn't every single driver have to bring some sort of financial advantage to the team through sponsors regardless of talent? Though talent among many other factors may make it easier to find sponsors and you're highly unlikely to be able to afford to make it to F1 without picking up sponsors on the way.

The cost of single-seater racing: http://en.espnf1.com/f1/motorsport/story/64894.html

I would consider a pay driver someone who is paid no salary by the team and therefore paying to drive. Vitaly Petrov's manager for instance said earlier this season that he was not paid by the team so I would say that he's an example of a pay driver.

The likes of Schumacher and Alonso had to pay for their F1 debuts.
 

no-FIAt-please

Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
In a short answer, in my opinion a pay driver is a driver who occupies a seat at a Formula 1 team only because of the money that they bring with them and that if they did not bring the money that they would not be racing in F1 (e.g. Sakon Yamamoto). A pay driver is not a driver who attracts a lot of sponsorship but is talented enough to be there anyway (Adrian Sutil).
 

GermanF1

Race Winner
Contributor
Vitaly Petrov
Pastor Maldonado
Narain Karthikeyan

I think you could also argue about Daniel Ricciardo and Sergio Perez, but I would not consider them as pay drivers just because at least Perez could also be in F1 without money (he seems to be a pretty good driver)
 

canis

Race Winner
Valued Member
Hmmm, interesting point, by all of the definitions here Alonso is a pay driver. The deal between Santan and Ferrari for sponsorship defines that Alonso be at the wheel and that Santan will cover his wages as long as he is as well as supplying extra capital to the team. So Alonso gets no payment from Ferari other than the money provided by a sponsor...

ALL drivers bring money to the team through sponsorship etc, the real question is whether a driver would be in that seat without that money? But again, even in the top teams, there are few drivers who would be there without the added sponsorship they bring in just for being at the wheel. I don't think it is possibl to have a definition of a Pay Driver in the current F1. In the old days some people were there on merit and got paid, others paid to sit in the seat, the split was definable and obvious. Today with the corporate money that is needed to run a team I don't think most of the drivers would be there if they didn't at least bring something to the team financially.
 

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
Devil's advocate time - regardless of talent/money - every driver in F1 has to hold a super license - not that easy to obtain.

To qualify for an FIA Super Licence the requesting driver must already be the holder of a Grade A competition licence, and additionally meet the requirements of the FIA International Sporting Code, Appendix L. These requirements state that the driver must be either the reigning champion in a lower category of motor sport, for example Formula 3 (British, Italian or Japanese championship, or Euroseries), Formula 2, or GP2 Series (formerly known as Formula 3000), or must have consistently finished well in these categories.
 

no-FIAt-please

Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
Finished well seem rather vague, it could mean just not being a danger to fellow drivers which isn't too hard.

As for who was a pay driver in 2011 I'd say Maldonado and Karthikeyan. Drivers who did bring backing but actually could viably stay in F1 without money were Sutil, Senna, Ricciardo, Petrov and Perez.
 

EvilWhippet

Podium Finisher
Which of the driver's who raced on the 2011 grid would people consider pay drivers?

Well Petrov being beaten by his teammate but his teammate being replaced is all the evidence I need that money was his biggest appeal for the second year running, however I concede that he has potential for the future.
Bruno, was it his money or his amazing ability to score 2 points?
Karthikeyan and Maldonado are surely there for their commercial worth.
Hulkenberg has defeated afew of these guys in GP2 but had no race seat.
Chandock beat Bruno when they were together but who's heard of Chandock's uncle? He resides in the reserve role of a newbie team and Bruno gets a race seat in an established midfield team.

Perez has clearly proved his worth in my opinion, even though Maldonado beat him to the GP2 title in 2010, it was Perez first try and Maldonado had been there for afew years.

I was just about to write a little thing on what people think are paydrivers, and whether they appreciate their place in F1, but too late...
 
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