The Formula One franchise has arguably some of the best paid drivers in motorsports. Their salaries even dwarf those of NASCAR and MotoGP drivers. Being the most dangerous motorsport, its drivers draw some of the highest salaries in the sporting world calculating drivers’ income from salaries, endorsements, bonuses, shares from winnings and licensing.
Fernando Alonso – $30 million
With a $30 million annual income, Alonso is the highest paid driver in Formula One. His annual salary totals to $28 million with the extra $2 million coming from endorsements. The two time World Championship winner has a deal with Ferrari that runs to 2016. He currently trails Sebastian Vettel in the Formula One standings.
Lewis Hamilton – $26 million
After 6 years at McLaren, including the 2008 World Championship Hamilton has joined Mercedes this year. He made this move to seek lucrative sponsorship opportunities. Being among the most marketable drivers, he draws an annual income of $27.5 with $26 million coming from his salary and $1.5 million from the various endorsement deals he has with Reebok and Puma.
Sebastian Vettel – $17 million
With his sights set on a fourth consecutive World Championship win, Vettel is the most dominant driver in Formula One. The German Red Bull driver’s racing success has given him lucrative deals and bonuses. His contract with Red Bull is set to end in 2014. His total earnings for the year were $18 million with his salary being $17 million and $1 million from endorsements.
Jenson Button – $14 million
In 2009, Button won the world championship driving for Brawn GP. After joining McLaren, he has only finished in the top four once. His total income was $14 million which came from his salary as he has no endorsement deals. Presently, he is ninth in the Formula One rankings.
Kimi Raikkonen – $14 million
The 2007 Formula One world champion currently drives for the Lotus team. His income had seen an instant increase to $14 million because of his 2007 win.
Felipe Massa – $13 million
Interestingly, he is worth $13 million regardless of the fact that he has never won a World Championship. The Brazilian driver draws part of his income from various deals and endorsements.
Michael Schumacher – $9 million
Considered one of the greatest drivers of all time in Formula One, Michael Schumacher has won seven world championships, five with Ferrari and two with Betton. His annual salary is $9 million.
Nico Rosberg – $9 million
The driver of French and German origin drives for Mercedes AMG. He is the scion of 1982 World champion, Keke Rosberg. He draws an annual salary of $9 million.
Mark Webber – $7 million
The Australian Red Bull driver scored his first win in the 2009 German Grand Prix. His annual salary is $7 million with a small part of it coming from endorsements.
Heikki Kovalainen – $6 million
The Finnish driver transferred to lotus from McLaren in 2010. He completed all the Grand Prix races in 2013 except in Australia. He is paid a salary of $6 million annually.