How to buy your way into Formula 1

Thanks to The Zebra for sponsoring today’s video. See how much time and money you can save today by comparing car insurance rates with a quick visit to

Many drivers spend years proving their worth before making it to the big leagues of F1. But some others pay for a fast track. How does the typical F1 drivers' career play out? And how does cash accelerate the process?


New to the Channel?
►Watch this:

We upload almost every day, subscribe so you don't miss out!
►Subscribe here:

Click here for more info on joining the Donut Underground!

Shop Donut Merch:

Donut Media is at the center of digital media for the next generation of automotive and motorsports enthusiasts. We are drivers, drifters, and car enthusiasts who love to tell stories.


  1. Donut Media

    Donut Media

    12 күн мурун

    CORRECTION: Super License points are not awarded from race finishes, but on how a driver finishes the season. For example if you finish the Formula 2 championship in 1st-3rd, you'll earn 40 points, 4th earns 30 points, 5th earns 20 and so on. You cannot do it in a single race weekend like I said. Apologies for the error. - Nolan

    • BigFire


      Күн мурун

      If you win F2 and F3, you're no longer allowed to remain the the series. When Lando Norris won F3 in 2017, he's automatically qualified to be in F1, but he can no longer stay in F3. He came in second in F2 2018 to George Russel, who became ineligible to race in F2 anymore.

    • Nathan Ajibawo

      Nathan Ajibawo

      3 күн мурун

      @Big Joe S. You also forgot to mention he came 2nd in gp3, in 2018,which I think would have also allowed him to gain superlicense points as this still fell within the 3 year period

    • Alex


      4 күн мурун

      @Ruis Gecko the rules where changed after verstappen entered.

    • Ruis Gecko

      Ruis Gecko

      4 күн мурун

      How did verstappen entered f1, he was 17

    • Alex


      4 күн мурун

      @RyanRocket Gaming professional means, that you earn money with it.

  2. N S B

    N S B

    24 мүнөт мурун

    "It's not unheard of to see a bone stock Yaris beat Mustangs, Camaros and even Corvettes. It's all about the driver, not the car." _The very next sentence_ "There's also spec Miata racing, you can get started there about 5000$. You probably won't win because top cars spent upwards of about 100K$ on their rides." So which one is it about, the car or the driver?



    Саат мурун

    Max verstappen started f1 at 17. False info? Lol 😏

  4. Venkat Mohan Kudapa

    Venkat Mohan Kudapa

    Саат мурун

    Of course u can but ur way into F1. It’s a known fact.

  5. whiteandnerdytuba


    2 саат мурун

    I’d buy into f1 if I could. 20 million is nothing

  6. Jeff Greene

    Jeff Greene

    2 саат мурун

    Oh man, now I'm totally jonesin' for a California burger, garlic fries, and a chocolate shake. I really miss Los Osos and Sylvester's Burgers. Nothing like it here in Seattle...

  7. s z

    s z

    8 саат мурун

    Mmmm interesting video, but i've seen one exactly like this one, hope it's not a copycat

  8. the old days

    the old days

    10 саат мурун

    The potential best drivers in the world will never be known and get Pros cause they cant effort that 😏

  9. aola wili

    aola wili

    12 саат мурун

    that add though masterpiece

    • aola wili

      aola wili

      12 саат мурун

      well I know that Nikita mazepin won't win a title in any car

  10. matthew swider

    matthew swider

    20 саат мурун


  11. Base Online

    Base Online

    Күн мурун

    24 hrs of lemon....🤣🤣🤣🤣 L.O.L, I have never heard of it before

  12. TheEarloz


    Күн мурун

    Lmao well Lance Stroll dad the same for thing for him. Lol he practically works for his dad

  13. BadDay - Lets Plays

    BadDay - Lets Plays

    Күн мурун

    Ayrton Senna was a pay driver. He aint that bad, was he?

  14. bilinas mini

    bilinas mini

    Күн мурун

    He can't be all that bad, after all he did beat Hamilton.

  15. Anthony Mcdonald

    Anthony Mcdonald

    Күн мурун

    Can’t wait to see one of those r32 stockys

  16. Slh Ylc

    Slh Ylc

    Күн мурун


  17. Ily Rod

    Ily Rod

    2 күн мурун

    If that wasn’t the most quiet James ever

  18. Daniel Soriano

    Daniel Soriano

    2 күн мурун

    30y never driven a car new section Training wheels!!

  19. Jyrki Jyrays

    Jyrki Jyrays

    2 күн мурун

    Read about Kimi Raikkonen

  20. doliio volay

    doliio volay

    2 күн мурун

    Brave boy - Russian oligarchs above my pay grade lol. Idk if I’m just noticing but crushed it on the little sound effects. Really good!

  21. Nicholas Phillips

    Nicholas Phillips

    2 күн мурун

    Other viable options for motorsports participation are Time Trial and Hillclimb. Time Trial you're on actual road courses (not cone-filled parking lots a la autox) and driving for best time, not best position. SCCA, Gridlife, and NASA have very good programs, though NASA has a more complicated power-to-weight classing structure. Ever watch a tarmac stage rally? That's Hillclimb. Risks are higher, but it's still as accessible as TT. If you just want to get on the track with an unprepped car and turn some laps at your own pace at a non-competitive event? SCCAs Track Night in America is your answer. Lastly, side comment: it's funny when people ask me, "Do you win anything?" I tell them you don't get paid to race. You pay. Like financially, it's a net loss, every time. The general public has very little insight into the workings of amateur racing and what's required of amateur drivers.

    • doliio volay

      doliio volay

      2 күн мурун

      You do not need to complete 300 hours to get a Super License. The 300 hours is for drivers who have already held a Super License.

  22. mike brown

    mike brown

    2 күн мурун

    *yes you can buy your way to f1 it's an expensive sport from day one in karting 500k a year till f1 20 million a year having a billionaire father will help alot*

  23. jcobande


    2 күн мурун

    Who else keeps coming back to this vid for the Zebra Ad lol

  24. Mike Fingerbottom

    Mike Fingerbottom

    2 күн мурун

    It was great to see Mazepin do some defending in Baku, that safety car was right in his mirrors for lap after lap, great job avoiding the overtake there. Also he almost killed his teammate.

  25. Billy McGee

    Billy McGee

    2 күн мурун

    He's like Lance. But worse. But daddy is rich. So he plays with the best toys. I'd be a liar if I said I wasn't jealous😁

  26. alexander bolosan

    alexander bolosan

    2 күн мурун

    well I know that Nikita mazepin won't win a title in any car

  27. tuplavee !

    tuplavee !

    2 күн мурун

    Max Verstappen started at 17

  28. Mer C

    Mer C

    2 күн мурун

    This is actually a reason why Valentino Rossi decided to go with motorbikes, he actually wanted to be an F1 driver but single-seater is just too expensive for his parents to afford

  29. S Campbell

    S Campbell

    2 күн мурун

    Can buy way into U.S. presidency so why not f1......

  30. JB Flynn

    JB Flynn

    2 күн мурун

    *sees title* *daddys cash immediately starts playing*

  31. doire aintu

    doire aintu

    3 күн мурун

    "Accelerated the discussion of whether he deserves to be in F1." It's a fairly short conversation, Nolan.

    • doire aintu

      doire aintu

      3 күн мурун

      How did checo buy his way in ?

  32. Sean Baylor

    Sean Baylor

    3 күн мурун

    Juan Pablo Montoya, Tony Stewart, and to a certain degree, Fernando Alonso (has stated he doesn't work out) laughs @ the statement of needing to be 'fit' to be a Pro racing driver.

  33. Vipul Paul

    Vipul Paul

    3 күн мурун

    Gotta have massive respect for Hamilton's dad for getting him through all that while being in the working class. Prices were probably lesser back then but salaries were less too and i read somewhere he worked 3 jobs but never gave up on his son's passion for racing.

  34. senna racing legend 14

    senna racing legend 14

    3 күн мурун

    Hamilton was a poor kid washing car to buy a skateboard

  35. It's Probably the feds, but

    It's Probably the feds, but

    3 күн мурун

    Everything is on sale now f you have enough money

  36. Soham Dighe

    Soham Dighe

    3 күн мурун

    Honestly I never skips their ads 😂😂😂😂😂😂 They advertise on different level all together If you want to grow your brand This are the guys will help you more than marketing manager

  37. TheMessiah


    3 күн мурун

    You do not need to complete 300 hours to get a Super License. The 300 hours is for drivers who have already held a Super License.

  38. Moto1Mendoza


    3 күн мурун

    can the next video be how lewis hamilton became an f1 champion coming from a poor background?

  39. Black Hawk (Black Hawk)

    Black Hawk (Black Hawk)

    3 күн мурун

    I'm 23 is it too late?

  40. george carpenter

    george carpenter

    3 күн мурун

    The thinkable meteorology compellingly admit because enquiry proportionately check inside a guttural H habitual backbone. ill-fated, plain garden

  41. Winter Speed679

    Winter Speed679

    3 күн мурун

    Daddy's Cash

  42. niki4 whatever

    niki4 whatever

    3 күн мурун

    Nikita Mazepin*

  43. Peter Worthington (nvscheeko)

    Peter Worthington (nvscheeko)

    3 күн мурун

    But isnt he getting told to go home and go in the Army for year if not he will go to Jail as all males have to do year in Miltary

  44. kÿhXX


    3 күн мурун

    AMAZING - dominate lower tiers n train

  45. hoiy vinosa

    hoiy vinosa

    3 күн мурун

    "Accelerated the discussion of whether he deserves to be in F1." It's a fairly short conversation, Nolan.

  46. ZeltroHD


    4 күн мурун

    Boot mazepin

    • hoiy vinosa

      hoiy vinosa

      3 күн мурун

      Motorsport is a rich people’s sport

  47. Tomasz Nowacki

    Tomasz Nowacki

    4 күн мурун

    How did Hamilton get in with his broke family? Soros injection ?

  48. Santiago Fitch

    Santiago Fitch

    4 күн мурун

    How did checo buy his way in ?

  49. MinecraftGamersHQ


    4 күн мурун

    James deserves higher wages than anyone; he started it no sly comments Mr. Nolan, you got s free car?!?!?

  50. Filippo Danieli Bailo

    Filippo Danieli Bailo

    4 күн мурун

    Zanardi now is dead :(

  51. Scott Lee

    Scott Lee

    4 күн мурун

    I was so ready to buy the stockys bundle until i realize they don't ship outside of us :(

  52. Don Percent

    Don Percent

    4 күн мурун

    And here I am with my few cents but so many talents that no one will never buy... life can be unfair.

  53. John Macmillan

    John Macmillan

    4 күн мурун

    Can you do a video about how less rich people make it to f1? Because I heard danny ric talk about his rise to f1 and it sounded quite alot different to this, like do driver academies sponsor you to compete in f4, f3 etc..

  54. 89srbija


    4 күн мурун

    24h of Lemons 😁😁😁 that is awesome 🤣

  55. Muammar Gibran

    Muammar Gibran

    4 күн мурун

    At least daddy Dimitry cares about his son. Like daddy Lawrence to Lance. Also, indeed as shown in the video, in the old days, before the Concorde Agreement and the Super License days, if you're rich enough, you can just buy an F1 car, something like a Maserati 250F or a Ferrari and run as a privateer. You might also saw some royalties racing in the sport, like Prince Bira of Siam, at that time. Now you can't do that since every team that wants to run the world circus has to get their car built by themselves, although you can outsource it (Haas has Dallara making the cars), you still have to throw money to build the car, and cannot just buy one from an existing team.

  56. Catalina Lacson

    Catalina Lacson

    4 күн мурун

    me:i have no experience nascar:ok your in me:but i have no exper nascar: what ever we let in rookies for crashes

  57. Kyle Forgie

    Kyle Forgie

    4 күн мурун

    As a Canadian maybe I'm probably biased, but I think Stroll has progressed beyond just a pay driver. He's a top 10 driver now.

  58. Frankie Paez

    Frankie Paez

    4 күн мурун

    You just need to go to a team in financial ruin and have your daddy be rich, tell him to pay them for the seat, and your in

  59. Lucky Ducky Driving School

    Lucky Ducky Driving School

    4 күн мурун

    Cool beans, but how do you get into WRC? That's what I'd rather be racing in, anyways.

  60. Ryan Johnson

    Ryan Johnson

    5 күн мурун

    Lol, the thumbnail is a Mazepin with Schumacher's car

  61. Luciano Arebalo

    Luciano Arebalo

    5 күн мурун

    Motorsport is a rich people’s sport

  62. #J MANIA

    #J MANIA

    5 күн мурун

    How to buy your way into F1: Be the idiot Lance stroll

  63. Cristobal K

    Cristobal K

    5 күн мурун

    Nolan can you make a video for the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup explaining which are the competitive teams, important race dates, freaky facks, etc pls!!!



    5 күн мурун

    You're doing well with educating Americans on Formula 1; but to say the drivers "pee in their suits" isn't a point you should share the way you did. It came across as a fact that most on the grid do that. It has happened yes; but its more in the case of endurance racing/rally racing, not formula one.

  65. alan C

    alan C

    5 күн мурун

    F1 has always been for sale !

  66. Nikita Mazepin

    Nikita Mazepin

    5 күн мурун

    Seems someone has been spying on my dad

  67. Stammer Garage

    Stammer Garage

    5 күн мурун

    Spec miata driver here. Climbed my way from Karting

  68. Power 789

    Power 789

    5 күн мурун

    Does anyone know were I can get Alex’s t-shirt from. The one with the emporio armanj and bmw logos

  69. Tirah5


    5 күн мурун

    U-Raal Chem?? Seriously?? Ou-ral Chem!!! damn you muricans. do some research. Ural as in river and mountain range Ural in Russia.

  70. Niclas Horn

    Niclas Horn

    5 күн мурун

    i dont need to watch the video, yes you can, and you always could in F1.. this is not a "new" thing.

  71. Umakant Patil

    Umakant Patil

    5 күн мурун

    It was more than 50 seconds when he said 48 And as a formula 1 fan I think it is just to say that every second counts.😅 PS IV wasted 10 of them typing this comment🙄

  72. Aaron D

    Aaron D

    5 күн мурун

    go get a Motorcycle

  73. PrinZ


    5 күн мурун

    Lol I've recently discovered the mazespin website

  74. AVP •

    AVP •

    5 күн мурун

    That ad was great

  75. Alex C

    Alex C

    5 күн мурун

    So you basically have to be rich to be a formula 1 driver

  76. American Mechanic

    American Mechanic

    6 күн мурун

    I would love to be an f1 driver

  77. Justice Clum

    Justice Clum

    6 күн мурун

    You can buy yourself into anything. Because people are stupid.

  78. FatalDragon69


    6 күн мурун

    The money needed for F1 is soo wrong, because I bet there's a load of better drivers out there that just don't have the money behind them to get them in to a car !!

  79. Fran Kranjac

    Fran Kranjac

    6 күн мурун

    I start dribing kart 3yrs old now i am 13

  80. Wade B

    Wade B

    6 күн мурун

    Ship STOCKY to Canada!!! What gives? :(

  81. Jase


    6 күн мурун

    This sounds exactly like Josh Revell's video.. but iz okie

  82. just yeet the chicane

    just yeet the chicane

    6 күн мурун

    4:04 I've heard of people who spend 200.000 - 300.000 a year

  83. just yeet the chicane

    just yeet the chicane

    6 күн мурун

    3:05 you don't have to drive a shifter, best option is move to Italy, drive in the national x30 or Rotax class to gain experience, then move to the OK/OKJ and drive at the WSK and FIA events Become world champion and move into single seaters

  84. Taj Tahmeena

    Taj Tahmeena

    6 күн мурун

    i love these finance and automotive videos

  85. Lil Blin

    Lil Blin

    6 күн мурун

    Ill stick to street racing 😏

  86. 8alakai8


    6 күн мурун

    check jimmy broadbent he is a sim racer doing real races now

  87. zachary hoffa

    zachary hoffa

    6 күн мурун

    It’s not talent. No one is born a good driver... it’s a SKILL. he is lacking SKILL. Sorry. Pet peeve

  88. jakubkrcma


    6 күн мурун

    I am not even gonna watch the video because all this Nikita hate is ridiculous. The simple truth is that Nikita is FAR above what most people think. And although there are definitely some better drivers, there are not many of them.

    • Michael Gia Huy Nguyen

      Michael Gia Huy Nguyen

      6 күн мурун

      Ilot deserved the seat

  89. Jan Kaas

    Jan Kaas

    6 күн мурун

    First race of Verstappen, he was 17 years and 3 days !

  90. alextsang0328


    6 күн мурун

    Everything is for sale

  91. Broom Broom Cars

    Broom Broom Cars

    6 күн мурун

    I started Karting at 7

  92. Eddie 168

    Eddie 168

    6 күн мурун

    Just goes to show money dominates everything

  93. Constable Dodo

    Constable Dodo

    6 күн мурун

    Don't knock pay drivers, Senna was also a pay driver, thanks to his rich father.

    • Michael Gia Huy Nguyen

      Michael Gia Huy Nguyen

      6 күн мурун

      Difference is that Senna made great impressions in the feeder series, while Mazepin was average

  94. Hunter Williams

    Hunter Williams

    6 күн мурун

    Cheer up, James. We love you.

  95. Anthony Riordan

    Anthony Riordan

    6 күн мурун

    Say what you want, but if you actually watch F1 you'd see Maz has actually been doing better the last 2-3 races.

  96. O


    6 күн мурун

    This is why F1 is less popular than other sports

  97. Aerodynamic


    6 күн мурун

    I like to think in an alternate universe I would be an F1 driver. My dad was considering buying me a go cart around 6 years old but my mom said no. It’s a shame .

  98. DAGATHire


    6 күн мурун

    Money gets you there TALENT keeps you there. It has always been THUS! Moaners about this just know fuck all about F1

  99. Daniil Oxyuk

    Daniil Oxyuk

    7 күн мурун

    The advertising is hilarious

  100. Nathan Corbett

    Nathan Corbett

    7 күн мурун

    How could you leave out the Suzuki Forenza and the Coke Freestyle Machine 7:00