The 26-year-old finished first for the second year in a row
Max Verstappenpilot Red Bull Racing, has just completed the most dominant season in Formula 1 history, claiming a record 19 victories (in 22 races) and securing the title before the season even ends on October 7. Not surprisingly, he is also the financial champion of the season with a score Salaries and bonuses are estimated at $70 million this year.
The 26-year-old ranked first for the second year in a row, beating him Lewis Hamilton, from Mercedeswho earned an estimated $55 million on the track in 2023 and spent a decade as the highest-paid star in Forbes’ rankings of annual athlete earnings.
Learn about the ten highest-paid drivers in Formula 1 in 2023
In total, The 10 highest-paid drivers in Formula 1 will earn approximately US$258 million in 2023.Before taxes, down slightly from $264 million in 2022.
Unlike Forbes’ earnings lists for sports like football or the NBA, The F1 classification excludes income from commercial ventures such as sponsorship, focusing solely on sport-specific salaries and bonuses..
Since drivers are generally required to appear on behalf of their teams and partners, most make little effort to secure personal sponsorship. Only a few of them are believed to earn more than $1 million a year, with Hamilton’s off-track income estimated at $10 million and Verstappen’s at $4 million, according to the 2023 list of the world’s highest-paid athletes paid out by Forbes.
Despite the lack of sponsorship deals, Formula 1 drivers are bona fide global stars and are gaining increasing prominence in the United States, where the Netflix documentary series “Drive to Survive” has attracted a passionate fan base.
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With the new interest and the entry of new sponsors, Forbes estimated in July that average revenues for the 10 Formula 1 teams would reach $380 million this year, up from $220 million in 2018.
Meanwhile, a cost cap introduced in 2021 limits team spending to less than $140 million in 2023, with the aim of creating greater parity between big powers like Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull, and smaller teams like Alfa Romeo, Haas and Williams.
However, driver salaries are excluded from the cap calculation, providing team owners with a salient leeway where they can continue to spend money.
“This is obviously a big difference today, as the big teams can offer drivers much higher salaries,” he said. Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff told Forbes at the US Grand Prix last month.
He noted that the idea of a salary cap has been discussed within the sport, but any such change would have to be part of a new Concorde Agreement — the series’ governing contract — which means, at a minimum, for the 2026 season if it happens.