Despite declining sponsorship revenue, the loss of the German Grand Prix (at least for this year) and falling television viewing figures, Formula One team budgets remain quite healthy.
Successful Brazilians pepper the history of Formula One racing: from world champions such as Emerson Fittipaldi, Ayrton Senna and Nelson Piquet to grand prix winners like Rubens Barrichello and Felipe Massa.
With the cancellation of the German Grand Prix, the 2015 Formula One calendar contained an unexpected three-week break in July, between the British and Hungarian Grands Prix. The actual summer break, though, with its mandatory two-week team factory shutdown, started after Hungary and wraps up next week when the teams arrive at Spa-Francorchamps for the Belgian Grand Prix.
Formula One drivers have been using mind games for as long as the sport has existed, attempting to gain an edge over their competitors. Stirling Moss, who made his debut in 1951—the second year of the championship—once wrote in an ESPN F1 column that, to gain a psychological advantage, he would pretend he enjoyed racing in the rain and, “The other thing I used to do was give each driver that I overtook a wave or thumbs up, to show that I was enjoying myself while they weren’t.”
Top Formula One drivers are some of the best-paid athletes in the world, with the ones at the very top of the pay grid earning more than €1 million (approximately $1.1 million) per race.
On Sunday, Formula One returned to Mexico City for the first time in 23 years. The race, on a revamped Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, produced a familiar result—a Mercedes victory—but it was not Lewis Hamilton who took the win.
Last November, in the midst of her team’s best season in a decade, Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams said there was more to come. She wasn’t referring to last season, although both Williams cars finished on the podium at the next race. And she wasn’t referring to this season, although the team has 30 more points now than at the same time last year.