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Formula 1: Top 10 highest-paid drivers for 2023

Published at :December 5, 2023 at 1:33 PM
Modified at :January 14, 2024 at 12:13 AM
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Hisan Kidwai

It’s no secret that Formula 1 is one of the most expensive sports, thanks in part to the resources required to develop a car. However, there is one more thing which also contributes to the aspect, i.e. driver salaries. And the recently concluded 2023 season not only crowned Max Verstappen the king in terms of race victories but also earnings.

The collective earnings of the top 10 Formula 1 drivers amounted to an estimated $258 million in 2023 before taxes, representing a slight decrease from the previous year’s $264 million. However, it is important to note that, unlike other sports’ earnings lists, Formula 1’s ranking is solely based on salaries and bonuses, excluding income from endorsements and other business ventures.

Oscar Piastri- $8M

Piastri, the youngest driver in 2023, performed exceptionally well, achieving podium finishes in Japan and Qatar and finishing ninth overall in the standings. After having a rocky start to the season, he gradually found the pace and caught up to his teammate, Lando Norris. Although reports suggested that the McLaren driver earned a salary of $3 million, he also bonuses almost twice the amount of his salary, an impressive $5 million.

George Russell- $9M

George Russell, the young talent at Mercedes, comes in eighth place with earnings totaling $9 million. Yet, his performance securing the eighth position in 2023 played a vital role in maintaining Mercedes’ second-place position in the team standings, with a three-point lead over Ferrari. Not to forget, it’s quite a challenge to drive a car with tricky controls, especially alongside the experienced Lewis Hamilton.

Carlos Sainz- $14M

With an earning of a whopping $14M, the 29-year-old Spaniard landed for seventh in driver standings. Finishing just behind his teammates Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris, Sainz showcased consistency and skill throughout the season by being the only non-Red Bull driver to win a race. Additionally, he also partnered with golfer Justin Thomas to clinch victory in the Netflix Cup.

Lando Norris- $15M

The season began with some challenges for Norris, primarily revolving around early issues with the car. However, as the season progressed, Norris’s performance took a turn for the better. In the final stretch from September to November, he reached the podium in five out of six races. While Norris claimed the sixth position among drivers, finishing just one point behind veterans Fernando Alonso and Charles Leclerc, his overall contribution to the team’s success was undeniable.

Charles Leclerc- $19M

Completing the top five is Charles Leclerc from Ferrari, earning $19 million. Despite facing a season filled with mishaps and car issues, Charles has demonstrated his exceptional driving skills. Moreover, his performance at the Las Vegas GP 2023 showcased his determination and talent on the track. However, addressing the speculations about his departure from Ferrari, he recently confirmed that he plans to stick with the team for more seasons.

Sergio Pérez- $26M

Pérez secured victories in two of the initial four races of the season, contributing to Red Bull Racing’s impressive tally of 21 Grand Prix triumphs in 22 races alongside teammate Max Verstappen. Despite his strong start, a dip in performance during the middle of the season sparked rumors suggesting that Red Bull might consider replacing him in 2024. However, Pérez is currently bound by his contract through the upcoming season and has dismissed speculations about potential retirement at the age of 33.

Fernando Alonso- $34M

Fernando Alonso secures the third spot by earning $34 million in F1 2023, which also includes a remarkable $10 million in bonuses. This achievement follows his sensational debut season with Aston Martin, during which he clinched eight podium finishes.

Lewis Hamilton- $55M

Lewis Hamilton, a stalwart who held the title of the highest-paid driver for a decade, claimed the second spot with an estimated $55 million in earnings. Despite finishing third in the 2023 season, the seven-time champion continues to be an iconic figure in the sport.

Max Verstappen- $70M

Max Verstappen’s dominance wasn’t confined to the racetrack, as the 26-year-old Dutch sensation secured an estimated $70 million in salary and bonuses. This marked his second consecutive season as the financial champion, capping off a historic campaign with a record-setting 290-point lead in the standings, solidifying his position as one of Formula 1’s legends.

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