The annual list of what each driver is earning has been released by Business Book GP, and whilst Fernando Alonso might not be doing so well on the track, his bank account certainly is.
The Spaniard, thanks to a move from Ferrari back to McLaren-Honda, has netted him an annual salary of €35 million (£24.6m) a year, €13m more than he earned at Ferrari in 2014.
Meanwhile, his replacement at Ferrari, Sebastian Vettel, is earning just €28m (£20m), which is just €6m more than he earned at Red Bull last year.
Lewis Hamilton is the third highest-paid at €25m (£17.5m), though it’s worth noting the Briton recently agreed on a new deal which begins in 2016 and will likely see him eclipse Alonso’s top salary, with estimates valuing his new deal at €42m (£30m) annually.
Meanwhile, Hamilton’s team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg earns just €13.5m (£9.5m) per season, despite recently agreeing on a new three-year contract.
Further down the salary grid sees Jenson Button in sixth. The McLaren driver was forced to take a pay cut to keep his seat, dropping from €16m (£9.5m) in 2019 to €10m (£7m) this year.
At the bottom of the table is Manor’s Will Stevens and Roberto Mehri. Whilst both contribute funds to the team – as the majority of drivers do in one form or the other – they earn differing amounts with Stevens on €150,000 and Merhi on just €50,000 to cover ‘expenses’.
Wait… Doesn’t Vettel actually earn the most?
Probably. The figures compiled by Business Book GP only take base salary into account. Most drivers, likely those in the tops teams, have performance clauses in their contract which rewards finishing position, race wins and championship victories.
It’s likely Alonso won’t earn much more than his €35m (other than through personal sponsorship), because his MP4-30 isn’t capable of securing strong results.
Hamilton, on the other hand, is likely to earn much, much more. He’s already taken five wins and will likely take many more.
But why does Vettel likely take home the most? It’s because the German was awarded a “sweetener” clause in his contract for his first season with the Scuderia, kind of like a welcome bonus. He’s entitled to all performance bonuses, regardless of where he finishes, topping up his salary to a massive €50m (£35m).
You can see the entire salary grid below:
|=||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||€4m|
|=||Sergio Perez||Force India||€4m|
|13||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||€1.5m|
|14||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull||€750,000|
|15||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso||€250,000|
|=||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso||€250,000|