Formula 1 ’s highest-paid drivers revealed
Acame to a screeching haltthis year, but one group remains untouched by the series’ first-ever budget cap: the sport’s drivers. F1’s ten highest-paid stars are projected to pull in a collective $211 million in salary and bonuses this season.Leading the pack is Mercedes superstar Lewis Hamilton, who is on pace to earn $62 million on the track in 2021. That figure includes a $55 million base salary—more than double what his closest competitor is guaranteed—as well as a projected $7 million in bonuses for race wins. But with Hamilton currently stuck in second in the standings, and in danger of missing out on the drivers’ title for only the second time in the past eight years, his projection does not include a championship bonus, leaving him a bit shy of his $66 million on-track total for 2020, when he won 11 races and the title.
Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen is the driver in pole position to receive that championship bump this year, pushing him up to a projected $42 million in salary and bonuses, comfortably No. 2 on the earnings list. He is followed by Fernando Alonso, with $25 million in his debut season at Alpine.
Hamilton, who has four wins through ten races, still has time to overtake Verstappen, with the gap in the standings a mere eight points and 12 races remaining on the schedule (plus a 13th if F1 can find a replacement for the canceled Australian Grand Prix in November). Either way, though, Hamilton is guaranteed to lead the headtopics.com
, as he has each year since 2014, when he first knocked Alonso from the top spot among the series’ drivers on theForbeslist of the world’s highest-paid athletes with $29 million in salary and bonuses and $32 million with endorsements included.Race winner Lewis Hamilton at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on July 18.
Bryn Lennon/Formula 1/Getty ImagesThe big-ticket salaries are key for F1 drivers, who collect far less from endorsements than superstars in other sports like tennis and the NBA. F1 drivers for the most part spend little energy off the track beyond appearances they’re obligated to make for their teams and the associated carmakers. (The teams themselves are partly to blame, placing restrictions on the categories of sponsors their drivers can partner with.) While Hamilton rakes in
an estimated $12 millionfrom sponsors—most of whom also back his team—even Verstappen makes only $1 million in endorsements annually.Still, the drivers’ salaries should continue to make up for the marketing gap. F1’s new budget cap, introduced this season, limits spending to $145 million per team in 2021 and $135 million by 2023—an earth-shattering change at top teams Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull Racing, whose budgets have soared past $300 million and even $400 million in recent years. The regulations have forced them to slash design and research expenditures and eliminate scores of staff positions, but driver salaries remain exempt from the cost-cap calculation and will be one of the few line items that deep-pocketed teams can continue to throw cash at to differentiate themselves.
Of course,to limit that spending as well, but at least in the near term, expect the rich drivers to get even richer.Here are Formula 1’s ten highest-paid drivers for 2021.Lewis Hamilton Read more: Forbes »
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Formula 1’s Highest-Paid Drivers: Clash Between Hamilton And Verstappen Extends To Their Bank Accounts Lewis Hamilton remains in pole position in the Formula 1 earnings race, heading up a group projected to pull in a combined $211 million on the track in 2021.
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