The speed and competitiveness of Formula One racing is well-known, helping it build a die-hard fanbase of motorsport connoisseurs and adrenalin junkies. But despite the obvious risks and dangers, the series of races that make up the F1 World Championship season, the Grand Prix, have impressive safety records in recent years. This wasn’t always the case. Indeed, instances of death and injury to superstar drivers over the years prompted the racing authorities to impose regulations and controls in a bid to reduce the number and severity of accidents on the track. Nonetheless, F1 drivers are clearly speed-freaks who live for the thrills they get behind the wheel of their racing machine. But problems can arise when they take their work home with them: there have been a number of incidents involving F1 drivers speeding, or driving dangerously on general roads and motorways, demonstrating that even the most skilled drivers can come a cropper and be fined or face a conviction.
F1 racing driver incidents
German Ralf Schumacher was charged with careless driving, speeding and causing injury following a motorway pile-up in Cologne. Brit poster boy Jenson Button was fined £500 for speeding on a French motorway after being pulled over by police for driving his BMW at 144 mph. The list goes on. Former world champion Lewis Hamilton was pulled over in Melbourne, Australia, and had his Mercedes impounded after he admitted to driving in an ‘over-exuberant manner’, causing him to lose traction while performing street stunts. David Coulthard faced a driving ban in India for speeding during a Formula One exhibition in Mumbai, clocking up 160mph, while Eddie Irvine was arrested for allegedly speeding on a scooter in London, without insurance.
The impact on car insurance
Thousands of British motorists are caught and fined for speeding or dangerous driving every week. The risk with any kind of reckless driving is, of course, that you could hurt others or yourself, or even cause death on the roads, as well as lose your licence. Any conviction while driving can also have a big impact on your car insurance premiums, with policy providers considering you at greater risk of having an accident, and so charging you more for your cover. However, the size of impact any type of driving conviction will have depends on various factors, such as your age, car, and the incident in question. For example, you’re going to pay much more for your cover if you’ve had a drink-driving conviction than if you get a single speeding fine. But whatever your conviction, you’ll have to confess when applying for a policy if it’s within the past five years, as insurers will ask the question. Never be tempted not to disclose the information requested. Those who provide false or incomplete information when applying for motor insurance might find their policy is invalid if they come to make a claim.
The impact of your job on car insurance premiums
It’s not only driving convictions that can see your car insurance premium skyrocket. Other factors that impact the cost of your cover include your occupation. For example, racing drivers are likely to pay top whack for their car insurance, as by their very nature they are more likely to feel the need for speed on the road, and as history has shown a fair number have faced fines and convictions. So as our MoneySupermarket article explains here, the ‘safe’ professions, like nursing and teaching, will benefit from lowest average premiums, while racier occupations such as professional footballer, actor and journalist will take a bigger hit when it comes to premium costs.