How much do F1 drivers earn?

Often purported to be the richest of all sporting stars, F1 drivers have long been associated with glamorous lifestyles. So, this raises the very important question: how much do F1 drivers really earn?

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Drivers are paid by their sponsor, also known as the team. Big names in the world of F1 include Mclaren, Red Bull, Williams, Renault F1, Ferrari and Mercedes. BMW and Toyota were big names in the sport but pulled out due to the financial crisis. Drivers are paid an income from the team that is part retainer, basically being paid for turning up, and part bonus. As a general rule of thumb the ratio is 70% retainer, 30% bonus. However, some teams are reported to have a less favourable ratio of 60% retainer and 40% bonus. The bonus is paid according to the number of wins, podiums wins and final championship position in a season.

When it comes to actual amounts, the heady days of extreme pay are gone as the financial crisis caused companies to drive down the retainer element. However, the earnings of an F1 driver are still eye-watering to the average person. Let’s take a look at some of the earnings for the 2017 Formula 1 season.

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Lewis Hamilton $31 million exc bonuses
Valtteri Bottas $8.5 million inc bonuses


Fernando Alonso $40 million inc bonuses


Sebastian Vettel $30 million excluding bonuses
Kimi Raikkonen $7 million excluding bonuses

Red Bull:

Daniel Ricciardo $6.5 million exc bonuses
Max Verstappen $3 million exc bonuses


Felipe Massa $5 million

Renault F1:

Nico Hulkenberg $3 million

These salaries are in addition to any money drivers make from additional sponsorship deals. F1 drivers work in contracts just like footballers and some have contracts for up to five years whilst others are only on 1-year contracts.

There’s only one way to see whether these drivers deserve their pay and that’s to go and see them in action. Get excellent hospitality packages such as the Britain F1 Paddock Club from and enjoy a truly unforgettable day out.

So, how much does an F1 driver earn? The answer is that if you’re good, then an awful lot of money! And even if you are not top tier, you can still be making a pretty decent income from the sport.

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