It is no secret that Formula One is often referred to as a “rich boys club”. With fast cars, exotic locations and team owners with a combined net worth of over $150 billion, does it really come as a surprise to anyone? With money literally rivalling the GDP of a small nation, it is no […]
It is no secret that Formula One is often referred to as a “rich boys club”. With fast cars, exotic locations and team owners with a combined net worth of over $150 billion, does it really come as a surprise to anyone? With money literally rivalling the GDP of a small nation, it is no surprise that F1 also houses some of the highest-paid athletes of all time. Today, we’re taking a look at some of them.
Apart from being loaded, Mario Andretti also holds a unique record of being one of two American drivers to win F1, IndyCar, NASCAR, and the World Sportscar Championship. The Italian-American driver has stood on top of the podium 12 times in total, with 19 top-three finishes. He’s also the only American driver to be named United States Driver of the Year in three consecutive decades: 1967, 1978 and 1984. The now 81-year-old veteran has net worth of over $120 million, through a combination of other racing interests.
Older fans of the sport might remember Eddie as someone who lived and died for motor racing. The Irish lad was competing in Formula Ford Championship by the age of 17! It is no surprise then, Irvine had a 10-year-long illustrious career in F1, which saw him racing for Jordan, Jaguar and Ferrari. With four Grand Prix wins and 26 podium finishes, he’s also the only driver to get Jaguar to podium finish in its brief F1 history. Unfortunately, Irvin raced against legends like Mika Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher and even came close to winning the championship after finishing seconds behind the former. After hanging up his racing gloves, the ace took up stock in investing and developing properties. He’s rumoured to be worth around $120 million.
Yet another export from Britania, Button made the headlines when he clinched the 2009 championship with Brawn GP, with a remarkable drive, progressing from 14th to a 5th place finish. The following year, he teamed up with his fellow countrymen, Lewis Hamilton at McLaren—one of the most iconic rivalries of all time—finishing 5th in his debut season and second the next year. However, after four years of no victories, the Brit called it quits and went on to join Sky Sports as a pundit. Button is rumoured to be worth around $150m (£113.4m).
It is good that Raikkonen’s people skills never really translated into his driving skills. During his heydays, the Iceman battled it out with legends like Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher. And of course, who can forget his 2007 title clincher which he won by a single point. After spending, 17 years in F1, Raikkonen retired as a legend of the ring after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2021. But don’t worry, the Fin is said to have stocked $150 million in his bank account so far. No bad for a hobby, eh?
Without a doubt, Fernando Alonso will go down as one of the greatest F1 drivers of all time, and he’s still on the circuit at the age of 40! The Spaniard famously won back-to-back championships in 2005 and 2006, ending the dominance of Michael Schumacher’s Renault. So far, he’s had a stint with Ferrari, McLaren, Minari and will be on the grid again with Alpine. Outside of F1, Alonso has also won the 24-hour Le Mans race twice with Toyota, in 2018 and 2019. No wonder then he’s amassed a cool net worth of $ 240 million.
Arguably, the greatest F1 driver of all time, Lewis Hamilton has always been a prodigy. At the age of 37 and with many driving years still ahead of him, the Brit holds a joint-record seven World Drivers’ Championship titles (tied with Michael Schumacher). Additionally, he also holds the record for the most wins (103), pole positions (103), and podium finishes (182), among others. With sponsorship deals with Tommy Hilfiger and his lucrative salary with Mercedes ($55m a season), Hamilton has raised a fortune of $285 million.
It is only fitting that Michael, the joint-most successful F1 driver of all time, tops our list. Not only did Schumacher has left a lasting legacy in F1, but he’s also part of the reason why F1 enjoys the popularity as it does today. Non-F1 fans may not have heard of Senna or Prost, but they have heard about Michael Schumacher.
After winning five consecutive titles between 2000 and 2004, the German driver briefly returned to the sport in 2012 with Mercedes, a year before his skiing accident, which would see him being sidelined to this day. The legend is said to have a net worth of around £604.9 million