Lewis Hamilton says the rising costs of getting through the junior ladder of motorsport needs to be address, and he is making this one of his long-term priorities to solve during his time in racing.
The current Mercedes AMG Motorsport driver and six-time Formula 1 World Champion came into the top level of single-seater racing in 2007 with the McLaren F1 Team having won the GP2 Series (now FIA Formula 2) championship the year before, but he has seen the costs of getting through junior categories rise in the subsequent years.
Unless in one of the top teams, drivers are expected to bring in excess of one million Euros to race in Formula 3, while to get into Formula 2, the level directly below Formula 1, requires a lot more again. It is making it difficult for most and impossible for others to get far in the sport.
In recent years, the path to get to Formula 1 has been simplified, which has meant the demise of series’ such as Formula Renault 3.5, and Hamilton says something needs to be done to allow talent to get to the upper echelons of motorsport without the need of extreme spending.
“I think where motorsport has gone, if you look at Formula 3, it’s not the same as it used to be,” Hamilton is quoted as saying by Motorsport Week. “Formula Renault isn’t the stepping stone that it used to be.
“GP3, GP2 [sic] those things are getting continuously more expensive, and don’t generally need to be. Karting is getting more and more expensive, but it doesn’t really need to be. But again, it’s because the business heads are not aligned with my thought process.
“So I’m just trying to think about what I can do, and diversity is a continuous issue, and will continue to be an issue for a long time, and there’s only a certain amount I can do. I am trying to think about what it is I can actually do and work with, and how I can work with F1, rather than it just be a tick on their list of things to add to we also do, you know what I mean?
“Which businesses often do, and actually have something that is really implemented and actually making an impactful difference being made. So I’m still trying to understand that. But it is at the top of my priorities in terms of what I want to do long-term.”