How much does it really cost to become a Pro Racing Driver?

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We should all know by now that motorsports is an extremely expensive sport. Although there are ways to turn it into a career and earn a living, a driver still needs to spend hundreds of thousands (if not millions) before they can reach a professional level. Ex-driver Robert Calisi shares his experience from 31 years in the industry on how much it really costs take to get you up to Formula 1 (or close).

Robert has been in the sport since 1998. He began his journey in karting like most drivers before moving up to single seaters, touring cars, and then prototypes. And like most people in motorsports, he too dreamt of becoming a professional racing driver one day. But he didn’t have the privilege of a wealthy family supporting his dreams, yet did relatively well with what he had. Robert managed to win several championships namely the ’13 Canadian Formula Libre, ’14 Canadian GT Challenge, and ’15 Radical Canada Cup.

Speaking to VINwiki, he shares the painful truth on the costs involved just to move up the motorsports ladder. Then, it’s only when you reach a certain level do you know whether you’re good enough (or not) to turn pro. The ‘tuition fee’ from start to finish is an eye-watering US$ 20 million plus.

Watch the VINwiki video below to learn lessons from Robert and why he decided to become a gentleman driver instead and pay his way to race.