Formula 1 driver salaries in 2023: Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton far ahead
Formula 1 is now in an era of budget caps, which means there is less and less money to develop cars, but this will not affect the salaries of drivers in 2023, as it will in the 2022 season.
Teams that contract their riders are exempt from the cap, meaning those ahead of the starting grid will remain among the highest paid sports stars in the county. But how much does each rider earn at the start of the 2023 season? Let's get a look.
Formula 1 driver salary in 2023
Formula One drivers' salaries are notoriously difficult to determine; there can be a range of external factors, such as contract increases and bonuses, making it difficult to determine how much each rider earns.
In 2022, Max Verstappen secured one of the most lucrative deals for a driver in F1 history and then financially maintained a relationship with rival Lewis Hamilton. This will continue into the 2023 season when both drivers will have a clear financial advantage over the rest of the starting grid.
The reigning F1 champion signed a five-year extension to an already existing deal last year that now links him to Red Bull until the end of 2028.
But the size of Verstappen's contract is the cause of much controversy. That was reportedly worth £33m a year in 2022, slightly ahead of Dutchman Hamilton, whose latest F1 contract with Mercedes, signed in early July last year, is valued at £31m a year.
But some recent reports suggest that Verstappen's salary is ahead of Hamilton and everyone else on the starting draw: he earns £45m per season, a whopping £14m more than his rival.
However, it is clear that Verstappen and Hamilton are confidently the two highest paid drivers in Formula 1. Next is Charles Leclerc, who receives about £20 million a year from Ferrari. He is narrowly ahead of Aston Martin newcomer Fernando Alonso (£16.7m) while Lando Norris is now the highest paid driver at McLaren after the departure of Daniel Ricciardo. Norris, one of the sport's most promising stars, is earning £16m.
The lowest paid Formula 1 drivers
Outside of what can now be considered the Big Four, the numbers start to drop sharply. Next up is Leclerc's partner at Ferrari, Carlos Sainz, who makes around £10m a year.
There is no clarity regarding Fernando Alonso's salary. He was one of the highest paid drivers in 2022 and his contract with Alpine guaranteed him £16m per season. And while he replaces Sebastian Vettel at Aston Martin - the German himself was on a hefty salary - reports suggest the Spaniard had to cut back considerably to join, down to £4million. This number is controversial and we believe it is closer to the likes of Sergio Perez than to the back of the grid.
Especially when the likes of Red Bull's Perez and Alfa Romeo's Valtteri Bottas are raking in £8m each for their performances this year. George Russell, second year at Mercedes, next with £6m.
Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly are each earning around £4.5m to drive for Alpine this year, while Kevin Magnussen is making slightly less - around £4m - to drive for Haas.
Next up is Alex Albon, earning £2.5m at Williams before the regular teams at the end of the bracket pay their drivers roughly the same.
If you have F1 experience like Zhou Guangyu, Lance Stroll and Nico Hulkenberg, you can expect to earn around £1.6m per season. They are followed by new arrivals Nick de Vries, Oscar Piastri and Logan Sargent, with Yuki Tsunoda sandwiched between them.
|Макс Ферстаппен||Red Bull||£42 million|
|Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||£31 million|
|Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin||£16.7m|
|Lando Norris||McLaren||£16 million|
|Sergio Perez||Red Bull||£8 million|
|Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo||£8 million |
|Kevin Magnussen||Haas||£4 million|
|Pierre Gasly||Alpine||£4 million|
|Alex Albon||Williams||£2.5 million|
|Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||£1.6m|
|Zhou Guanyou||Alfa Romeo||£1.6m|
|Nick de Vries||Alpha Tauri||800 thousand pounds|
|Logan Sargent||Williams||800 thousand pounds|
|Yuki Tsunoda||Alpha Tauri||800 thousand pounds|