In 2021, Formula 1 introduced a revolutionary new reform – Budget Caps. This was a move that limited the amount of money a team could spend in a season in order to bridge the gap between teams on top of the table and those on the other side.
But one thing the budget cap didn’t include was the driver’s salary. This meant teams could spend as much money as they want or as the drivers want in forms of salaries.
So let’s take a look at the top five highest-paid drivers from 2021.
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 12, 2021 The drivers pose for a photo before the race REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed
Who are the Top Five Highest Paid Formula 1 drivers?
5. Sebastian Vettel
Despite a downward spiral in terms of form in recent years, Vettel remained one of the most marketable drivers in 2021. And as a result, he earned $15 million in salary at Aston Martin.
4. Sergio Perez
If there’s a driver that knows the meaning of perseverance, then it’s Sergio Perez. After facing an uncertain future in the sport at the end of 2020, the Mexican was signed by Red Bull to strengthen their challenge to Mercedes in 2021.
And this is exactly what Perez did, and more. Although he was signed on for a salary of $5 million, projections that include bonuses from race wins and performances took up his tally as high as $18 million in 2021.
3. Fernando Alonso
The Spaniard made his comeback this season with Alpine and didn’t take long to showcase his class and talent. Alonso was instrumental in Alpine’s mid-table hopes for a higher finish and, along with teammate Esteban Ocon, Alonso did just that.
He took home a salary of $25 million, but bonuses coming from his podium finish in Qatar or defensive masterclass in Hungary should mean he earned more.
2. Max Verstappen
If there’s one thing Max Verstappen missed out on in 2021, it was this list. The champion and his on-track exploits this past season needs no introduction. Being arguably the biggest star in F1 today, Verstappen earned a salary of $25 million.
But on top of that, it was projected he would earn double that in bonuses. This meant Max Verstappen earned at least $42 million in 2021.
1. Lewis Hamilton
The other championship protagonist, and arguably the GOAT in F1, Lewis Hamilton, had one of the best seasons of his stellar career. And despite not winning the championship, nothing can take away from the incredible fight he put up for the entire year.
A fight that justified his salary of $55 million. And as for projected earnings, Forbes predicted Hamilton earned over $62 million in 2021.
Which driver do you think will earn the most in 2022?