Drivers competing in Formula One (F1) can earn many millions of dollars per year while attending multiple races in the top tier of the motorsports industry. This usually comes in the form of sponsors with big-name car brands and pay-per-race salaries.
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This income is further supplemented by brand deals and other endorsements which see F1 stars consistently raking in the cash at an incredible rate.
As a result, F1 drivers are some of the richest sportspeople out there. But in an industry that has produced so many incredible athletes, who are the official top earners of all time?
You can check out sports betting odds to find out more about the top racers competing in Formula One today.
1. Michael Schumacher – $600 million
This German superstar is one of the most recognizable faces in the world. He once held nearly every separate Formula One record before retiring in 2012, including 91 wins and seven world titles, making him one of the most successful F1 drivers in history.
Even now, a decade after his retirement, his wealth far exceeds other F1 drivers. Though he made a hefty primary salary racing for Ferrari and Mercedes, the largest percentage of his fortune comes from his participation in different advertisements and brand endorsements.
His total career earnings easily exceed $1 billion which makes him one of the highest-paid athletes in the world.
2. Lewis Hamilton – $285 million
Lewis Hamilton is statistically one of the greatest Formula One drivers in the history of the sport. He began his career with McLaren in 2007 and has since achieved seven championship trophies tying him with the record set by Michael Schumacher, and has also won more individual races than any other F1 driver.
Hamilton makes around $12 million per year in endorsements for Sony, Tommy Hilfiger, Puma, and Bose, among many others. He also has property and business investments, totalling around $200 million.
Hamilton peaked at number 8 on the Forbes list of highest-paid athletes in 2021.
3. Fernando Alonso – $260 Million
The Spaniard has competed in F1 races since 2001 for McLaren, Renault, and Alpine, and is among the top legendary F1 drivers in the world. Notably, he has won the world championship twice throughout his career.
With earnings totalling over $1 million per year from lucrative deals made with brands including Adidas, Pirelli, and Citibank, Alonso is a great businessman. He also makes quite a lot of money from his streetwear brand, Kimoa, which launched in 2017.
His net worth is currently estimated at around $260 million but this number is set to increase over the next few years after announcing a comeback to F1 with Alpine.
4. Kimi Räikkönen – $250 Million
Throughout his 20-year F1 career, the Finnish international had lots of time to make some serious money – with his average net worth now staying around the $250 million mark.
From 2001 to 2021, Räikkönen raced for McLaren, Lotus, Ferrari, Sauber, and Alfa Romeo. He also won a record 21 Grand Prix titles. As a result of such lucrative brand deals and sponsorships, he became one of the world’s highest-paid athletes.
Räikkönen also boasts impressive real estate investments and holdings including a luxurious beachfront property in Thailand and a $24 million dream home in Switzerland.
5. Jenson Button – $150 Million
Jenson Button is a famous British F1 driver with an estimated total fortune of $150 million.
Button is most noted for winning the Formula One Championship in 2009 and achieved first place in 15 different races during his 17-year-long career.
He raced for many teams including Renault, Honda, Williams, Brawn GP, Benetton, Bar, and McLaren. Once he joined McLaren in 2010, his annual salary was estimated at around $16.5 million which was one of the key ways he raked in his fortune.
Since he retired in 2016, Button is still a prominent name in the sporting world. He continues to make money as a senior advisor to his former Williams racing team and as a commentator for Sky Sports.
These are the top 5 richest F1 drivers of all time. Though some of these racers are retired, their legacy lives on in the sporting world either in memory or following them as they take their career in a new direction.
It can be quite difficult to estimate the exact salary of an F1 driver as it depends on the type of race, their experience, and the sponsorship contract that they have entered into. But what we can say is that their net worth consists of far more than just the salary from racing.
Many of these sportsmen are also incredible businessmen with a penchant for securing additional branding deals and property investments outside of the track, which adds a considerable amount to their total earning potential.