It is no secret that the world’s elite athletes have immense earning power. They command astronomical salaries and have companies clambering over each other, hoping to sign them up to a lucrative endorsement deal. The Formula 1 world is glamorous. Its drivers travel to luxurious destinations, power around tracks in unbelievably powerful cars, and are paid a small fortune for the privilege. They live lives akin to Hollywood A-listers.
Of course, professional race drivers put their lives on the line each time they go to work. The money they earn reflects the dangers they face whenever they strap themselves into their vehicles and tear around challenging tracks at breakneck speeds. The following three Formula 1 drivers, past and present, have the largest net worth of any other driver. Their combined value weighs in at a whopping $1.325 billion!
Michael Schumacher – $800 million
Michael Schumacher has a staggering $800 million net worth, the largest of any Formula 1 driver, past or present. The German has a joint record of seven World Drivers’ Championship titles and was a dominant force for the decade between 1994 and 2004. The best online Formula 1 betting sites always had Schumacher as the favorite to win each race he entered, thanks to his highly aggressive, often controversial driving style.
Benetton and later Ferrari made Schumacher the highest-paid driver at the time, and his dominance on the track increased his off-the-track earning potential exponentially. For example, Deutsche Vermogensberatung paid Schumacher $8 million over three years from 1999 for wearing a 10×8 centimeter logo on his post-race cap.
Sadly, Schumacher was involved in a skiing accident in 2013, a year after retiring from F1. He suffered severe head injuries and has not been seen in public since, although his son Mick, an F1 driver, said his father continues progressing back to health.
Lewis Hamilton – $285 million
Lewis Hamilton comes in second on the F1 rich list with a personal fortune of $285 million. Hamilton is tied with Michael Schumacher regarding titles won, with seven. The 37-year-old British star is the only F1 driver in history to surpass 100 pole positions and 100 race wins, leading many to consider Hamilton to be the greatest driver of all time.
Hamilton’s contract with Mercedes sees him earn at least $40 million annually, but he makes a lot more money from sponsorship and business ventures. He is an ambassador for luxury watch company IWC, owns a vegan restaurant named Neat Burger, has a fleet of luxury supercars worth several million dollars, plus a portfolio of properties, including a $40 million New York apartment.
Fernando Alonso – $240 million
Spain’s Fernando Alonso is now 40 years old but still competes at the highest level in Formula 1. He has battled across 344 races during his career, finished on the podium 98 times, and won 32 races. Alonso won the world title in 2005 and again the following year in 2006.
Alonso has a net worth in the region of $240 million, helped by a $20 million salary, the third-highest in Formula 1. He is a private man away from racing, completely contrasting his persona when he is in front of the cameras. Some estimate Alonso’s fortune to be greater than $240 million because he is noted for refraining from making expensive purchases.
Alonso’s professional racing career is drawing to a close, but he is heavily involved in motorsport away from his day job. He opened the Fernando Alonso Sports Complex in Oviedo, Spain, a karting track featuring 29 layouts. In addition, he is the owner of an eSports racing team.
Other Worthy Mentions
Several other F1 stars are set for life after glory-filled careers behind the wheel. Finland’s Kimi Raikkonen is worth $150 million, while retired British star Jensen Button has a $140 million net worth.
Some of the new waves of drivers have unfathomable earning potential. Reigning world champion Max Verstappen is only 24 years old yet earns $30 million per year from Red Bull Racing. Verstappen could one day overtake Schumacher as the highest-earning driver on the planet.