How to become a formula 1 driver

Written by ehow contributor
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Formula 1 is the highest level of open wheel racing in the world. Some of the most legendary race car drivers in history-Mario Andretti, Ayrton Senna, Jim Clark and Michael Schumacher-have piloted cars around the circuit's fabled tracks. Natural talent, years of practice and sheer luck define the road to becoming a Formula 1 driver.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Get involved with karting at a young age. Most Formula 1 drivers begin their racing careers behind the wheel of a kart by the age of ten. Visit the World Karting's homepage (See Resource section below). Find a list of tracks in your area that are sanctioned by the World Karting Association, the authority for karting in the United States.

  2. 2

    Attend racing school. Reputable racing schools offer multi-day classes at tracks throughout the country. Learn the basics of handling a more powerful open wheel car.

  3. 3

    Move to Europe as a teenager. Get a ride in Formula 3 or Formula 3000. While a few drivers who honed their skills on the American circuits have successfully made the move to Formula 1, there is a much greater chance of success if you climb the racing ladder in Europe.

  4. 4

    Race hard and move to teams that offer a greater chance to finish on the podium. Attract the attention of a Formula 1 boss by performing consistently well in the lower levels. Find a good agent to help promote you and capitalize on your success on the track.

  5. 5

    Become a test driver for a Formula 1 team. It is preferable to start Formula 1 racing, but some current drivers first honed their skills as test drivers-developing race strategies through endless test laps as they learned the nuances of each track on the circuit.

  6. 6

    Find funding to support your campaign. Smaller teams with more precarious funding consider taking a driver who brings sponsorship to the team.

Tips and warnings

  • Expect to invest several thousand dollars in your racing career before you reach the upper levels of competition.

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