Sometimes, paying above the odds will get you extras that will take you beyond your rivals.
It may not always be fair, but it rarely ever is.
“It wasn’t unusual for some additional one-upmanship to occur behind the scenes [in junior formulae]. Even though all drivers could pay the same amount of money to teams, some drivers opted to pay above the going rate, so as to obtain micro-advantages.
“A bit of extra money here and there could mean the engine and gearbox get a little bit of extra love and care during post-event rebuilds.
“Sometimes it goes the other way. [Driver x’s] team had no money and it showed. By mid-season, the engine rebuilds had become functionary and basic. As other drivers paid more and more over the odds, [Driver x’s] engine performance stuttered, having been starved of the extra care others received.
“Even [Driver y] once told me that [Driver z’s] budget for tyre testing pre-season actually matched his entire season budget. With the advantage of extra clean mileage, [Driver z] was up and away, while [Driver y] was nowhere. Just how it works!”