Formula 1 has always been known as one of the most elite sports in the world. With expensive cars, luxurious motorhomes, and top-of-the-line technology that goes into making the race cars, Formula 1 is an affair worth millions and millions of dollars.
We are currently five races into the Formula One 2022 season, and we have already witnessed a whirlwind of combats all around the F1 grid as the new FIA regulations have made way for close competitions between the different teams.
With all that is happening on the grid right now, fans often wonder about the lives of the F1 drivers away from the race track. In the following list, you will find the names of the top 10 richest F1 drivers in 2022. So, let’s get started!
1) Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – $39.23 million
British racer Lewis Hamilton is one of the most successful F1 drivers in the history of this sport. He has repeatedly featured in the list of the top 10 highest-paid athletes in the world until recently, as he got dropped from the list in 2022. Lewis Hamilton gets an annual salary of $39.23 million from his team, Mercedes AMG Patronas, and he also gets added bonuses for every race win that he achieves.
2) Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – $24.66 million (until 2023)
Reigning World Champion Max Verstappen’s name has been intertwined with the British team Red Bull Racing for as long as we can remember. While the 24-year-old started his career in F1 as a driver for Scuderia Toro Rosso, he was promoted to Red Bull in 2016, as a replacement for Daniil Kvyat.
In 2021, Max Verstappen achieved the impossible feat of beating Lewis Hamilton in a nerve-wracking season where the Championship battle went on till the very last race of the year in Abu Dhabi. The Dutchman has a multi-year deal with Red Bull to stay till 2023, and he gets an annual salary of $24.66 million.
3) Fernando Alonso (Alpine) – $19.61 million
Spanish racer Fernando Alonso made a surprise exit from Formula 1 at the end of 2018, when he did not have a team to drive for. All his fans agreed that the 2-time Championship winner’s career in this sport deserves better than this, and then, Alpine signed the driver following the exit of Daniel Ricciardo. Currently earning a salary of $19.61 million, Fernando is the third highest-paid F1 driver in the grid.
4) Lando Norris (McLaren) – $15 million (until 2025)
At only 22 years of age, British driver Lando Norris is the youngest driver to feature on this list of the highest paid F1 drivers. Lando started in F1 in 2019, making this season his fourth year in F1. Through all these years, he has shown incredible talent, making him one of the most talented youngsters who make up the “new generation” in F1. In 2021, he signed a contract extension with McLaren where he got a huge pay hike. As of now, Norris’ annual salary is $15 million, and he also receives bonuses for getting race wins and podium finishes in the Grand Prix’s.
5) Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) – $14.35 million
Australian racer Daniel Ricciardo was a Red Bull driver when he received an expensive deal from Renault for driving for them in 2019 and 2020. That made him the second highest-paid F1 driver in the grid, after Lewis Hamilton. Now, the Honey Badger has switched teams again to join McLaren at $14.35 million per year to drive alongside Lando Norris. His annual salary equals that of Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel, but he is ahead of the four-time World Champion considering that he gets more bonuses for the podium places and race wins that he has achieved last year.
5) Sebastian Vettel (2022 salary: $14,350,000)
Sebastian Vettel has four World Championships to his name, and is one of the biggest names in F1 in the current season. Yet, it was a surprise that the German did not have a contract waiting for him, even when the F1 2020 season was drawing to a close. Then, word got spread that Vettel was going to sign with Aston Martin for a multi-year contract. Currently, he gets an annual salary of $14.35 million, barring the bonuses for race wins and podium places.
7) Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) – $12 million (until 2024)
Current F1 2022 season Championship leader Charles Leclerc signed a contract extension with Scuderia Ferrari in a multi-year deal in 2019. As per the reports, Leclerc will drive for the Scuderia till the end of 2024 according to the terms of this contract. Currently heading the WDC charts with 104 points to his name, the Monegasque gets an annual salary of $12 million, plus all the race bonuses that he gets upon winning podium places in the GPs.
8) Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) – $10 million (until 2022)
Spanish racer Carlos Sainz Jr comes eighth in this list of the highest-paid drivers in Formula 1. Previously a McLaren racer, Sainz signed with Ferrari, agreeing upon an annual salary of $10 million. Carlos has delivered a brilliant performance in the first few races of this year, having earned 3 podiums already. He is currently fifth in the World Championship standings.
9) Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) – $10 million (until 2025)
During his Mercedes days, Valtteri Bottas proved to be one of the best teammates who drove with eight-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton till 2021. After the end of the season, reports came out that the Finn has signed with Alfa Romeo for driving with Guanyu Zhou till 2025. Valtteri has been in an excellent form in the opening races of 2022, and currently has 30 points to his name.
10) Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) – $10 million
Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll is the tenth racer on this list, with an annual salary of $10 million, without considering the race bonuses that he receives for getting point finishes, podiums, and race wins.