The final step before jumping to Formula 1 is Formula 2, a spec series which includes the finest feeder series teams and 22 of the best young drivers.
But securing the funds to compete in F2 is a difficult task as costs vary from team to team, forcing young drivers to become entrepreneurs.
One of those is Swiss ace Ralph Boschung who manages all of his sponsorship deals and raises the funds to drive for Campos without the help of a manager or driver academy.
“It’s very tough,” said Boschung exclusively to Total Motorsport.com. “[If] you don’t have proper backing since the beginning [of the year], it’s always going to be tough.
“The costs are rising every year. The world is dealing with [a] massive increase in inflation. The [world] economy is getting quite bad. So that makes it even tougher.
“Of course, if you do secure a budget, it’s always a very nice feeling. Because a lot of money is involved, and if you can make it happen, then it’s mega.”
One year to secure an entire budget
To secure a full budget for the following season, Boschung typically talks to potential sponsors a year in advance, hoping to secure their support for one or multiple seasons.
Boschung‘s sponsors include Swedish cryptocurrency investor Carl Runefelt aka ‘The Moon’, Swiss jewellers L by Raphaelle and Geneva-based delicatessen Casa Andrea.
“Usually, it depends,” explains Boschung. “If you’re going the traditional way of trying to get a marketing budget from a company, usually they always do that one year in advance.
“So you will potentially start very early in the year, already talking to various companies for the following year.
“In my instance, I have an agreement [from] 2021 for not just one year. It’s just about talking details for the following years, but usually, [you] would start much earlier than most people would expect.”