It’s a burning question for many people, and there has actually been some insight provided into an answer for it: How much does a Formula 1 car cost?
Well, by an estimate from Red Bull in 2022, such is the expense involved in the manufacturing and the cost of all the parts in assembling it, the overall price comes in at approximately €15million [£13.95m].
Carbon fibre materials do not come cheap, of course, but there are many other parts of a Formula 1 car which cost a heck of a lot of money to put together.
Formula 1 car cost: What are the most expensive parts?
Almost two thirds of the reported Formula 1 car cost by Red Bull’s estimate can be put down to the full composition of the power unit, with all its parts together costing around €10million [£8.65m] per power unit.
With two or three parts allowed per driver per season in the power unit components, that’s already a huge outlay before the drivers even turn a wheel – and in the budget cap era, that’s even more important to take into account.
The chassis is a huge expense too, understandably so with it acting as the body of the car.
Legendary F1 engineer Pat Symonds, currently chief technical officer at Formula 1, put an estimate together in a 2021 column for Motor Sport Magazine for the cost of different parts of the cars.
For the chassis, the teams estimate a cost of around €580,000 [£500,000].
The front and rear wings on their own are enormously complicated pieces of engineering, and could cost teams as much as €230,000 [£200,000] to produce a set of each, making any damage extremely costly in races.
The gearbox is also one of the most expensive parts of the car to produce, costing around €320,000 [£275,000] to produce an eight-speed transmission on a Formula 1 car.
Elsewhere, even the intricate software involved in making the steering wheel means that costs an estimated €50,000 [£43,000] to produce – more than most road cars are worth on its own.
When multiplied across a season for wear and tear, along with damage replacements and upgrades, a huge portion of the teams’ budget caps is already eaten up just in producing the cars themselves.
Formula 1 car cost: What are the most expensive Formula 1 cars ever?
It’s tough to get an accurate definition on which cars have been the most expensive to produce, but in a pre-budget cap era, teams were spending an awful lot more on their cars than they are allowed to do now.
Ferrari famously spent a lot of money testing during the season at the circuits they owned, Fiorano and Mugello, and teams at the front were able to massively outspend those at the rear of the field – which is why the budget cap was introduced in the first place.
In terms of the most valuable F1 cars of all time, however, we are able to help – as we have already compiled a list of the 10 most expensive Formula 1 cars ever to be sold at auction, with the 1954 title-winning Mercedes driven by Juan Manuel Fangio going under the hammer for an enormous £19.6m back in 2013.