Who is the highest paid F1 driver in 2023?

The 2023 season has generated an approximated revenue of $887 Million in just the 3rd quarter of the season.


Who is the highest paid F1 driver in 2023?

Fernando Alonso, Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton (Via IMAGO)

In F1 the battle extends beyond the racetrack and to the financial realm. The 2023 season has seen an impressive display of skill, strategy, and, notably, lucrative contracts. As the checkered flag waves, it’s time to explore the financial grand prix and discover who claims the coveted title of the highest-paid Formula 1 driver in 2023. 

It comes as no surprise that the dominant force of the season, Max Verstappen takes the coveted spot. Discover what the figure is exactly and also learn who joins the three-time champion where each driver’s journey is etched in a tapestry of salaries and bonuses. Delve into the financial pit stops of the top 10 highest-earning drivers, as per Forbes‘s annual Highest Paid F1 Driver list.

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9) Oscar Piastri – $8 million

Oscar Piastri, the youngest driver on the grid in 2023 at the age of 22, demonstrated remarkable performance. After missing out on an F1 seat after his F2 title clinch, he had to wait a year for the McLaren seat, replacing fellow Australian, Daniel Ricciardo. While he had a rocky start to the season, he slowly caught up behind his much-experienced teammate, Lando Norris. 

oscar piastri mclaren 1 (1)
Oscar Piastri (Credits: motorsports.com)

He also became the first rookie driver since Hamilton to stand on the podium in consecutive races in Japan and Qatar. The McLaren driver was reported to receive a check of $3 million in salary. Additionally, he has also earned bonuses that were nearly double his salary, a whopping $5 million. This totaling pay is worth $8 million, underscoring his potential as a promising driver in F1. 

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9) Pierre Gasly – $8 million

Securing a shared ninth place in the rankings, Alpine’s Pierre Gasly and McLaren’s Oscar Piastri both commanded $8 million. Gasly, transitioning to Alpine after a commendable six-year stint with AlphaTauri, clinched his inaugural podium in two years. Commencing the 2023 season with a slight pace deficit to Ocon, Gasly initially grappled with discomfort in the Alpine, encountering setbacks and subpar performances in the first few races. Nevertheless, he concluded the season as the swifter and more consistent contender, boasting a 0.04% median gap over Ocon across a single lap.

Pierre Gasly's maiden podium of 2023
Pierre Gasly’s maiden podium of 2023 (Credits: Auto X)

Post-Canada, Gasly notably exhibited a superior one-lap pace, outqualifying Ocon 11-3 since then. His inaugural year with Alpine showcased remarkable adaptability and skill on the racetrack, reflected in his additional $3 million in bonuses. And with a $5 million base salary, the Frenchman has earned $8 million in total. Gasly’s stellar performance allowed him to outscore Ocon, marking a triumphant debut season with the Alpine team.

8) George Russell – $9 million

George Russell, Mercedes’ emerging talent, secures the eighth position with a total earning of $9 million. Navigating the challenges of driving a car with a super narrow operating window alongside the formidable Lewis Hamilton is no small feat. While his 2023 performance didn’t quite reach the heights of his stellar 2022 debut, Russell’s eighth-place finish significantly contributed to maintaining Mercedes’ second place in the constructors’ race. 

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George Russell following his Abu Dhabi GP podium
George Russell following his Abu Spanish GP podium (Credits: Speedcafe)

The contract extension with Mercedes signed alongside Hamilton, serves as a testament to the team’s unwavering belief in Russell’s potential. Despite facing rear instability in the W14 and encountering a learning curve in the B spec, Russell showcased impressive moments, often closely matching Hamilton’s level of performance. He held his own in the qualifying head-to-head comparison, tying with Hamilton. 

7) Carlos Sainz – $14 million

Carlos Sainz, a formidable presence in the Ferrari stable, clinches the seventh position with a total income of $14 million. His spectacular victory in Singapore disrupted Red Bull’s potential season sweep, and a commendable seventh-place finish in the driver standings underscores his track prowess. 

Carlos Sainz after his pole position at the Singapore GP
Carlos Sainz after his pole position at the Singapore GP (Credits: News9Live.com)

Sainz faced initial challenges in the season, grappling with a lack of pace and errors. However, a remarkable turnaround saw him consistently scoring points in a car that suited his driving style. Often within a tenth of his teammate Leclerc, Sainz showcased masterful performances in Singapore and Zandvoort, proving his capability to be a valuable point scorer and a reliable asset for Ferrari.

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6) Lando Norris – $15 million

Lando Norris exhibits robust financial performance with a total earning of $15 million. Overcoming early-season challenges stemming from McLaren’s initial misdirection, Norris displayed unwavering resilience. Following crucial upgrades post the British GP, he regained form, securing podium finishes in five of the last six races. 

Lando Norris
Lando Norris (Credits: Esquire)

His $5 million salary and $10 million in bonuses not only mirror his achievements but also underscore his pivotal role in propelling McLaren to fourth place in the constructor standings. Emerging as the closest contender to Verstappen in the later parts of the season, despite occasional match-ups with Piastri, Norris undeniably delivered his career-best performance, as reflected in his substantial bonuses.

5) Charles Leclerc- $19 million

At the forefront of the Ferrari team, Charles Leclerc commands the fifth position in earnings, accumulating a substantial $19 million. Occupying a corresponding position in the driver standings, Leclerc encountered a season rife with challenges, hindering his potential to surpass Alonso. Noteworthy were his exceptional performances in Abu Dhabi, Las Vegas, and Baku, serving as the season’s highlights. 

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Charles Leclerc, second on the podium
Charles Leclerc, second on the podium at the Las Vegas GP (Credits: Motorsport Week)

Despite grappling with initial struggles due to an ill-fitting and rigid car, Leclerc flexed his adaptability, securing three podium finishes in the season’s opening half. With a salary of $14 million and an additional $5 million in bonuses, Leclerc solidifies his commitment to Ferrari and fervent aspirations for forthcoming championships.

4) Sergio Perez – $26 million

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing’s teammate to Max Verstappen, secures the fourth financial position with total earnings of $26 million. Initially a title contender, Perez narrowed the gap to his teammate by winning two races in the season’s first four. However, midseason struggles hindered his championship pursuit, sparking speculations about his future with Red Bull Racing. 

Sergio Perez after his Baku win
Sergio Perez after his Baku win (Credits: Caspian News)

Despite the challenges, Perez’s $16 million in bonuses underscores his indispensable role in the team’s triumph, contributing to Red Bull’s historic 1-2 finish. Securing second in the driver standings, this season marked a pinnacle for Perez, attaining the best finish in his career.

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3) Fernando Alonso – $34 million

In a noteworthy debut season with Aston Martin, the seasoned driver Fernando Alonso, formerly of Alpine, clinched the third position on the financial leaderboard with a commendable total income of $34 million. Although concluding the season in fourth place in the driver standings, his best since 2014, Alonso showcased remarkable consistency with six podium finishes in the initial half of the campaign. 

Fernando Alonso on podium with Aston Martin
Fernando Alonso on the podium with Aston Martin (Credits: Racefans.net)

Despite a dip in form aligning with Aston Martin’s challenges, Alonso’s pivotal role in achieving the team’s best-ever finish cannot be overstated. His substantial earnings, a $24 million salary coupled with $10 million in bonuses, not only underscore his adeptness behind the wheel but also emphasize his enduring popularity and versatility across various motorsports endeavors.

2) Lewis Hamilton – $55 million

Despite navigating through yet another season without a victory, Lewis Hamilton remarkably secures the second position as the highest-paid driver. Despite a relatively restrained season yielding only six podium finishes, Hamilton, since the introduction of the B-Spec upgrade, showcased a notable performance, consistently outpacing his younger teammate, Russell. 

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Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen on the US GP
Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen on the US GP (Credits: Mirror)

His illustrious career and enduring partnership with Mercedes contributed to an estimated earning of $55 million. Even with the challenges posed by the W14’s lackluster pace, Hamilton’s resilience propelled him to the third spot in the standings, posing a formidable challenge to Perez for the second position. His invaluable contribution was pivotal in securing Mercedes’ second-place finish in the constructor standings.

1) Max Verstappen – $70 million

Dominating the field in 2023 was the unstoppable force, Max Verstappen, the three-time consecutive drivers’ champion, establishing himself as unparalleled throughout the entire 2023 season. While a few contenders attempted to challenge him on Saturdays, not a single driver, not even his teammate in the same car, came remotely close to Verstappen’s prowess on Sundays. Verstappen consistently secured commanding leads of 20 to 30 seconds, even without Red Bull’s car upgrades during the end. 

Max Verstappen on the top step of the podium at the Dutch GP
Max Verstappen on the top step of the podium at the Dutch GP (Credits: F1)

The Dutchman’s performance in 2023 has been a relentless pursuit of records, with an unprecedented 19 victories in 23 races, securing him the third spot as the most successful driver in F1 history. His commanding 290-point lead not only solidified his racing championship but also earned him the financial crown, boasting an estimated $70 million in earnings. Verstappen’s salary of $45 million, coupled with $25 million in bonuses, emphatically places him as the financial maestro of the 2023 F1 season.

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Common table for reference:
RankDriverTeamSalary (in million)Bonuses (in million)Total (in million)
1Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing$45M$25M$70M
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes$55M$0$55M
3Fernando AlonsoAston Martin$24M$10M$34M
4Sergio PérezRed Bull Racing$10M$16M$26M
5Charles LeclercFerrari$14M$5M$19M
6Lando NorrisMcLaren$5M$10M$15M
7Carlos SainzFerrari$8M$6M$14M
8George RussellMercedes$4M$5M$9M
9Pierre GaslyAlpine$5M$3M$8M
9Oscar PiastriMcLaren$3M$5M$8M

FAQs

Who is the highest-paid Formula 1 driver in 2023?

Max Verstappen holds the top spot with an estimated $70 million in earnings.

How much did Lewis Hamilton earn in the 2023 season?

Lewis Hamilton earned an estimated $55 million in 2023.

How much bonus did Charles Leclerc earn in 2023?

Charles Leclerc earned $5 million in bonuses for the 2023 season.

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