Stop calling everyone a pay driver

Stop calling everyone a pay driver

Last week's Silverstone young driver test featured some genuine prospects despite the rush to denounce them all as pay drivers, says Edd Straw

The term 'pay driver' has become ubiquitous and with good reason. But just because the decline of manufacturer participation and sponsorship dollars has put many teams in the position where they cannot simply employ the best available driver categorically does not mean that everyone who gets into a grand prix car is automatically a no-hoper.

Take last week's young driver test at Silverstone. While frustratingly diluted by the necessary step of allowing teams to use race drivers to evaluate the new Pirelli tyres, which will be used from this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix onwards, the majority of the 19 'young drivers' had every right to get into the cockpit of an F1 car.

To continue reading this feature...

You must have an AUTOSPORT+ subscription. Prices start from just $1.50 per week and give you full unrestriced access to all news and features. View package options? Magazine subscriber?

AUTOSPORT+

from just $1.50 per week

  • Get unlimited access to AUTOSPORT with news and views from the paddock
  • Enjoy AUTOSPORT+: subscriber-only analysis, comment and top-quality pictures
  • Explore every F1 stat in the world’s best motorsport database

Pay as you go

Read this feature right now for just

39c