Search
Close this search box.

These are the 10 highest paid Formula 1 drivers of all time

Share

highest paid f1 drivers all time, hamilton, vettel, schumacher

We all know that Formula 1 drivers earn a lot of money. But have you ever wondered who has earned the most over the history of the sport? Well, you are about to find out.

The amount these elite motorists have earned will blow your mind!

The 10 highest paid F1 driver salaries of all time

The figures that have been published in various places recently take into account estimates based on salary, bonuses, investments and money made through any contract or deal agreements.

It is important to note they are estimates. And given the amount of money the best drivers can get from a new multi-year deals or winning a title, some may see their standing keep improving.

Particularly given how lucrative it is in Formula 1 these days, versus yesteryear.

max verstappen
Max Verstappen is a high profile omission from F1’s rich list. But give it a year or two and that will change.

10. Martin Brundle – $100 million

Nationality: British

Notable Team: Benetton

Formula 1 Career: 1984-96

So, the first person on this list might come as a bit of a surprise because when Martin Brundle raced, he only achieved nine podium finishes, and an F1 driver’s salary was not all that much.

However, a successful career spanning five decades in motor racing – including as a grid walk commentator has seen him rack up a considerable net worth.

9. Ralf Schumacher – $100 million

Nationality: German

Notable Team: Williams

Formula 1 Career: 1997-2007

It must have been hard for Ralf Schumacher to live in the shadow of his more successful brother. Still, his six-race triumphs were nothing to be sneezed at.

He might not have enjoyed a similar level of salary or bonuses, still he still got paid well during a decade in the sport.

8. Alain Prost – $100 million

Nationality: French

Notable Teams: Ferrari, Renault

Formula 1 Career: 1980-93

If F1 driver salaries and contract bonuses were as high as they are now in Alain Prost’s time, he could conceivably be much higher up on this list.

A true legend on the track, he was the main rival most drivers had to watch out for. He secured four world title wins and 51 race triumphs during a 13-season career – firmly cementing himself in the F1 Hall of Fame in the process.

alain prost, adelaide grand prix, f1 highest paid all time
Alain Prost celebrates victory in the 1988 Adelaide Grand Prix.

7. Eddie Irvine – $120 million

Nationality: Northern Irish

Notable Teams: Ferrari, Jordan

Formula 1 Career: 1993-2002

Eddie Irvine is probably another former pro who wishes f1 driver salaries and the pay for a new contract extension was higher back in his day. Though he did alright in terms of his current net worth, considering he only won four races in his overall career.

Arguably one of the most charismatic Formula 1 drivers on the circuit, he famously claimed Lewis Hamllton should have retired after the 2021 season and was also sentenced to six months in jail for his part in a brawl, though he didn’t serve any time.

6. Sebastian Vettel – $140 million

Nationality: German

Notable Teams: Red Bull, Ferrari, Aston Martin

Formula 1 Career: 2007-2022

As a driver, particularly for Red Bull, Sebastian Vettel was a prominent presence on the grid. In a 15-season career, he won 51 races, including three times at Abu Dhabi – one of his self-confessed favourite tracks.

One of Vettel’s key attributes was to be able to jump on any mistake his opponents made, he was also prone to doing the unexpected, believing the payoff to being brave was worth the risk.

sebastian vettel, f1 highest paid
Multiple F1 world champion, Sebastian Vettel, is one of the sports highest ever earners.

5. Jenson Button – $150 million

Nationality: British

Notable Team: McLaren

Formula 1 Career: 2000-2017

Before Lewis Hamilton hit the scene, Jensen Button was the darling of the British motorsport media.

During the course of his career, he represented seven teams, achieving 50 podiums, 15 race wins and one championship title for Brawn GP.

4. Kimi Raikkonen – $250 million

Nationality: Finnish

Notable Teams: Ferrari, Alfa Romeo

Formula 1 Career: 2001-2021

Throughout his time as an F1 driver, Kimi Raikkonen was a revered figure in motor racing. He sat in the seat of five different teams, winning a driver’s championship in 2007.

Offtrack, he was known to be a bit of a playboy. But the Finnish driver was a force to be reckoned with when a race was on. After leaving F1, he has dabbled in rallying and Nascar.

3. Fernando Alonso – $260 million

Nationality: Spanish

Current Team: Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team

Formula 1 Career: 2001 – Present

Like a fine wine, Fernando Alonso just gets better and better, season after season. Having recently signed a new contract for multiple years with Aston Martin, the popular F1 driver will be hoping to add to his 22 pole positions and 32 race wins.

Now that he has teamed up with Lance Stroll, it will be interesting to see how the next few years pan out for the Spaniard.

2. Lewis Hamilton – $285 million

Nationality: British

Current Team: Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team

Formula 1 Career: 2007 – Present

Lewis Hamilton is probably the best Formula 1 driver in the world currently competing on the circuit.

Perennially featuring near the top of the grid, he commands one of the highest driver salaries on the circuit, not to forget massive bonuses, thanks partly to his seven driver titles racing for the McLaren and Mercedes teams.

Having recently signed a two-year contract extension, Lewis Hamilton will have his sights set on taking out his eighth championship.

Lewis Hamilton, F1
Only one F1 driver has earned more than Lewis Hamilton over his career

1. Michael Schumacher – $600 million

Nationality: German

Notable Team: Ferrari

Formula 1 Career: 1991-2012

Schumacher was destined for greatness from the moment he picked up his first win at the Belgian Grand Prix race in 1992.

Known for his bravery and finesse on the track, one of his great strengths was that few people could ever get past him once he got out in front.

Overall, he racked up 91 wins and seven drivers championship victories in a glittering career as an F1 driver – making the German the undisputed greatest of all time in the world.

The fact that Lewis Hamilton has earned less than half as much as Michael Schumacher is a testament to what a terrific driver the German was.

Given the amount of money that is being pumped into the sport and the increase in F1 drivers’ salaries, sponsorship and prize money, it remains to be seen when – not if – Schumacher is overtaken on this list.

Latest Stories

Best State of Origin jerseys
We've selected and ranked the 10 best State of Origin jerseys of all time
T20_World_Cup_Guide_Hero
2024 T20 World Cup ultimate guide: Can Australia reclaim the title?
Sport events 2024 calendar australia
Your Ultimate Guide to every unmissable sporting event for 2024, updated
Best sports autobiographies
How many have you done? Here are the 10 best sports autobiographies ever written

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles