Formula 1 is the leading car racing tournament, renowned across the world. It is the ideal race for the speed lovers where the survival of the fastest is guaranteed!
However, it is not the sole efforts of the driver, which allows a team to win the race. The roles of- the team manager, who hints the car to enter the pit stop at the right time to maintain the lead, and the pit crew, who bring together every atom of their strength to spring car back to life- are equally important.
Every race makes the blood flow down your veins faster. Doesn’t it?
While the world of Formula 1 racing looks too fascinating from a far end, it is loaded with dangers that you can only imagine. And it is not only the race car drivers who are battling with the constant fear of life-threatening accidents, but the pit crew also risks its life for the race.
There’s more to it. If the pit crew, manager, or the driver does even a single mistake, that might seem tiny otherwise, can cost the team race as well as lives. If the crew overfills the car, it makes it slow. If the right tyre is not bolted to the pre-selected side of the car properly, the car might lose its balance. Therefore, the pit crew chosen for the job has to be perfect.
With the amount of risk and responsibility associated with the job of the F1 Pit Stop crew members, they are paid huge salaries. The pay usually depends upon their role, number of races, and the contract which is entered upon at the beginning of the tournament.
Recently, the earnings and the perks of being an F1 pit crew member gained limelight, and people were amazed to see how much they are paid for each race. Here’s the revealed and expected earnings of the F1 pit crew.
- Refuelling Person
While refuelling was an F1 pit crew job from 1994 to 2009, it is now banned. Then again, had it been a position today, the person could have made £5000 per race and, as much as £24,260 – £62,383 annually.
- Tyre changers
There are 4 tyre changers in each team. Each one is responsible for one corner/wheel of the race car. They use pneumatic wrenches to remove the single locking lug nut for each tyre and then install the new tyre back on it. They are also known as wheel gun crew and are paid £4,000 per race and make £20,000 – £52,340 each year.
- Tyre carriers
There are eight tyre carriers in each pit crew. Two of them are responsible for handling one corner of the car, while one of them removes the old tyre, the other replaces it with the new one.
They are paid £3,000 for each race and make £18,000 – 59,000 annually.
- Jack Man
There are two jack men in the racing crew. Both of them join hands to lift the car to facilitate tyre replacement. The front jack man is at very high risk because he is expected to wait for the car right at the entrance. So, his life completely depends upon the brake application by the driver.
Whereas, the rear jack man is the only crew member who is not supposed to hold the ground before the driver enters the pit owing to his position.
Though the earnings of these members are not clear, according to the risk involved, the front jack man surely does gets paid more.
There are two stabilisers whose job is to stabilise the car in the middle from both sides. Though there is little risk involved in the job, their pay is at par with the rest of the team to make sure that everyone puts in their best efforts.
- The front wingman
There is also a front wingman in every F1 crew who performs the job of readjusting the angle of the wing, to increase or decrease the downforce, or replaces it altogether. Also, they are expected to receive a handsome pay because wings can be extremely hot when the cars arrive and it is a challenging task to adjust them.
- Fire Extinguisher Man
The man you see blowing white fog at the car as soon as it enters the pit stop is the fire extinguisher man. He stands ready with a hand-held fire extinguisher to put out the fire. Sometimes when the car catches fire, the crew uses multiple fire extinguishers to put out the fire and evacuate the driver immediately. Undoubtedly, the role of fire extinguisher man is important and risky. Therefore, their pay is good too.
Apart from the above roles, there are some roles which used to exist in the F1 Pit stop crew but are no longer required or encouraged such as the Lollipop man, Refuelling man, and Starter man.
Now that you know the pit crew people responsible for a team’s success, here are the factors affecting their pay:
- Level of Skill Required
- Educational Qualifications Required
- Years of Experience
- Job Description
- Job Growth and Continuity
- Risk Involved
Though the earnings of the pit crew members, whether they are a part of Formula 1 or not, is comparatively lesser than that of managers and drivers, who get all the fame; working with a world-class F1 racing team is not just about money, there are other perks of being a part of the crew as well.
- The opportunity to learn and earn experience with the best.
- Paid accommodation, travel, and food.
- It is possible that your team follows the policy of splitting the prize money so that everyone puts in their best efforts.
- Not to forget the money your team can make from sponsorships and advertisements.
Finally, though there is little information out there about the exact earnings of the pit crew members, the ones working with big brands such as Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport, Red Bull Racing, and Scuderia Ferrari, are on the top tyre of the hierarchy.