F1 pay drivers, from the playboy pilot to the three-time champ
Alfonso de Portago Pay drivers have been a feature of F1 from the very start, although few have names as ine as Alfonso Antonio Vicente Eduardo Angel Blas Francisco de Borja Cabeza de Vaca y Leighton, better known as Alfonso de Portago. He raced for Ferrari in 1956 and ’57, contesting ive GPs. He was second at Silverstone in only his second outing. The Spanish multi-millionaire twice rode in the Grand National horse race and, aged just 17, he lew his aeroplane under London Bridge for a bet. Niki Lauda Niki Lauda relects the other end of the pay driver spectrum. Heir to a banking dynasty, Lauda shunned his father’s wish for him to get involved in the family business. Instead, he borrowed money against his life insurance to secure a drive with March in Formula 1. That money paid for the opening 13 races of his career, before he was hired by BRM in 1973. He paid o the loan in full when he got his irst Ferrari contract in ’74.