It's well known that Formula 1 is a lucrative business. The amount of money involved in racing at the highest level is mind-boggling, with some of the world's most recognizable automobile companies battling for lucrative brand partnerships.
F1 driver earnings are, of course, a direct reflection of this.
Only 20 drivers have made it to the pinnacle of the motorsports world, and they are widely recognized as the best drivers in the world. Regardless of how well-built a vehicle may be, it's the driver who may make all the difference on the race track.
They earn a lot of money because of this. However, how much money do Formula One drivers truly make? For the sake of this article, we'll discuss how much we believe Formula 1 drivers earn, how they get it, and who the richest drivers in history are.
How Much Formula 1 Drivers Are Paid in 2022
Why F1 Driver Salaries Depend on Their Bonuses
F1 drivers‘ basic incomes are certainly enough for some people to live on for the rest of their lives; nevertheless, they are only a small portion of the story. Performance-based bonuses can account for a large amount of a driver's ultimate salary in the complex world of motorsport contracts.
As an example, Kimi Raikkonen came back to Formula 1 in 2012 when he joined the Lotus team, which was still in its infancy at the time. As a result of their two consecutive 10th-place finishes, they were determined to entice the 2009 world champion to join them.
As part of an attractive two-year contract, Lotus offered Kimi an impressive €50,000-per-point bonus. Even though he'd already been in negotiations with Williams, this convinced the Iceman to join the team.
Gérard Lopéz, the team's principal, had no idea what kind of performance Kimi would put in. Kimi finished third in the drivers' championship with 207 points in the first season despite having only collected 0 points in the previous two years. After he scored 183 points in his second season, he received a bonus of €19.5 million.
There are several ways for drivers to make money, not simply on the track. Brand deals, corporate appearances, investments, and goods all have a role to play in the success of a company.
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Lando Norris is the CEO of Quadrant Entertainment, while Lewis Hamilton has a number of investments, including a recent rumor that he is helping Chelsea Football Club secure a new owner.
F1 Driver salaries in 2022
Lewis Hamilton‘s salary is expected to be the highest among the current F1 drivers. In 2021, Forbes ranked the seven-time world champion eighth on its list of the world's highest-paid athletes.
Lando Norris should not be overlooked either. Fernando Alonso, a 40-year-old two-time world champion, is believed to earn the same income as a 22-year-old rookie.
When Alonso made his Formula One debut, the British driver was just one year old, yet he is constantly regarded as one of the most promising drivers on the field – and has a price tag to match.
|F1 Driver Name||Team||Salary|
|Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||$40 Million|
|Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||$10 Million|
|Max Verstappen||Red Bull||$43 Million|
|Sergio Perez||Red Bull||$8 Million|
|Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren||$15 Million|
|Lando Norris||McLaren||$5 Million|
|Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||$15 Million|
|Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||$10 Million|
|Esteban Ocon||Alpine||$5 Million|
|Fernando Alonso||Alpine||$20 Million|
|Carlos Sainz Jnr||Ferrari||$10 Million|
|Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||$12 Million|
|Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri||$0.75 Million|
|Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri||$5 Million|
|Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||$10 Million|
|Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||$1 Million|
|Mick Schumacher||Haas||$1 Million|
|Nikita Mazepin||Haas||$1 Million|
|Nicholas Latifi||Williams||$1 Million|
|George Russell||Williams||$5 Million|
As a reminder, these numbers aren't made public by the teams, so it's impossible to have an idea of what they are. They should be taken with a grain of salt, according to Spotrac's estimates of what the drivers are making.
Why It’s Difficult to Estimate F1 Driver Salaries
For all of its glory, Formula One is a business. Formula 1 teams and their executives are notoriously tight-lipped when it comes to financial matters. Other teams may make enticing new contract offers if the salaries of its star drivers were publicly disclosed.
Furthermore, former F1 driver Martin Brundle has remarked that wage reports in the press are “seldom accurate.”
It doesn't imply, though, that the above estimations don't give a rough idea of how much the greatest drivers are making.
Are F1 Driver Salaries Included in the Cost Cap?
Formula 1 will use a new cost cap in 2021. Teams were expected to keep expenditures around $145 million, with a few exceptions. From $140m in 2022, this value will fall further to $135m in the following year.
Racing driver salary and fees are specified as an exemption to the cost cap. With no cap on how much teams may pay their best drivers, this means that they are free to do so.
Who Is the Richest Formula 1 Driver Ever?
Michael Schumacher is widely regarded as the highest-paid Formula One driver of all time and one of the most wealthy athletes in history.
The German dominated the sport in the early 2000s, winning a record seven championships in a row. His fame came with a price tag to match, thus his price was no surprise.
This year, Forbes released a list of the highest-paid sports stars of all time. The highest-ranking non-American on the list, Schumacher, rated fifth with a staggering $1 billion in lifetime profits.