The first formula 1 race happened in the 1920’s in Europe. The sport gained recognition and rules had to be set. The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) standardized the rules in 1945 and later on in 1950 the sport became professional. This would mark the onset of the best racing competitions in the world. The third most watched sport in the world after the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup. Through the years the sport has attracted numerous of fans around the world and is no longer a wonder that it is one of the most expensive sports to compete in. over the years large corporates have been attracted to formula one and the inflow of huge sponsorship money is evident.
Rookies do not earn much, but as their career profile progresses so does the paycheck. To keep the drivers happy in their respective teams lucrative deals and contracts are signed.The result? Very rich drivers, and here they are.
Check some Top 10 Richest Formula 1 Drivers in the World 2017
10. Kevin Magnussen – net worth $ 1 million
Kevin Magnussen might be just 24 but he is already bursting the bubbles of current Formula 1 giants in Hamilton and Vettel. The Denmark national has already started 40 races, but without a pole finish. He, however, made a podium finish at the Australian Grand Prix back in 2014 and has since been at the helm of racing company Renault driving the number 20 car. He became the first Formula one driver from Denmark and has since been recruited by McLaren.
9. Valtteri Bottas – net worth $1.3 million
The Finn is currently the most sought after driver in Formula One. He is expected to join Mercedes AMG Petronas team in 2017. His time at Williams was successful especially during the 2016 season where he produced for Williams their only podium finish of the season. He is an accomplished driver having won the Formula Three title, the Formula Renault Euroseries, and the GP2 championships. He is expected to be a World Champion shortly.
8. Daniel Ricciardo – net worth $1.4 million
The Australian is a disciplined driver who is known for his laid-back attitude. He has finished third in the driver standings one two occasions. The Red Bull driver is famous for his ‘shoey’ celebration where he drinks champagne from his driving shoe. His ability to deliver results makes him one of the most sought after formula one drivers currently with big money guns such as Mercedes looking to sign him. During the 2016 season he was able to produce over six podium finishes giving his team the second spot in the World Constructors’ Title standings. He is an upcoming star and it won’t be long before he earns his first World Drivers’ Championship title.
7. Nico Hulkenberg – net worth $1.6 million
Having kicked off his career at an early age he is one of the best German drivers in Formula One. Having won numerous titles at Formula Three, Formula Renault and at the GP2 championships he has a wealth of experience. He drives for Force India but will join the Renault team in 2017. Even though he hasn’t won any major title in formula one he has 1 pole position start and one Grand Prix win under his belt. He is one of the most composed drivers on the track.
6. Max Verstappen – $2.1 net worth
One of the youngest drivers currently racing professionals Max Verstappen, will be a force to reckon with very soon. The 19-year-old Dutch has already completed 40 races, with 1 victory, 7 podium finishes and no pole finishes. He races the number 23 Redbull car. His first win came mid this year (2016) at the Spanish Grand Prix, beating to-be champion Nico Rosberg and former world champion Lewis Hamilton to the pole. His current contract is worth %650,000 a season.
5. Sebastian Vettel – net worth $55 million
The German driver is a four-time world champion. He currently drives for Italian team Ferrari and formally for upcoming team Red Bull. He is the youngest Formula One driver to win a World Drivers’ Championship at the age of 23 years and is also the youngest driver to win four World Drivers’ Championship titles consecutively. He is fast and aggressive on the track and knows how to hold on to a lead.
4. Jenson Button – net worth $105 million
McLaren Honda reserve British drier Jenson Button announced earlier in 2016 he would step down from the McLaren front seat but would still be an ambassador for the racing outfit. He is the winner of the 2009 World Formula 1 Championship, beating heavyweights Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher. After the title triumph he went on to sign with Mercedes for a reported $6 million contract. He however moved to McLaren later in 2010 and has been there since. Back home, he was given the membership of the Order of the British Empire or MBE and has a street named after him.
3. Kimi Raikkonen – net worth $180 million
The iceman is one of the best Formula One drivers of the 21st century. The Finn drives for the Italian powerhouse Ferrari. He is a versatile driver for when he left Formula One he joined the World Rally Championship where he raced for the French team Citroen. He later tried out at the American car championship NASCAR before making his return to formula one in 2014. Even though he hasn’t been at the pick of his form he is regarded as one of the top Formula One drivers ever to grace the sport.
2. Lewis Hamilton – net worth $200 million
The bad boy of Formula One is well known for his extravagant lifestyle on and off the track. The party boy is known for his self – centered behavior and his inability to follow team instructions. His fall-out relationship with former teammate and childhood friend Nico Rosberg made headlines. Times Magazine describes him as the future of Formula One for he is the most talented driver ever seen after the legendary Arton Senna. Having won three World Drivers’ Championship he is in great form and will be the person to beat in the coming seasons.
1. Fernando Alonso – net worth $220 million
The Spaniard is the richest formula one driver currently. The two-time champion currently drives for the McLaren – Honda team. He is widely successful having driven for top teams such as Scuderia Ferrari and Renault. He was well known for his rather shaky relationship with former team mate Lewis Hamilton during their time at McLaren – Mercedes. In 2016 he miraculously survived a fatal crash where he walked out barely with a bruise. He is still vigorous on the track in search for his third World Drivers’ Championship that has eluded him for over a decade.
While the net worth between number 10 and Fernando Alonso varies by a mile, we have only compiled active drivers’ net worth. As the 2017 season beckons, fans worldwide are preparing for a season that might cause upsets. Who will have the will and power to dethrone reigning champions, Mercedes? One thing is for sure though, the new formula 1 will be worth holding your breath for.