Who are the highest-paid F1 drivers in 2020? How much do F1 drivers earn? As the Formula One lives up to the incredible reputation which it has earned across the world, the financial success as a result of the tremendous amount of attention which the sports receive has made the sports a lucrative venture which rewards drivers greatly.
The reputation of Formula 1 as the most prestigious highest class of single-seater auto/car racing, is one which was earned by the world-class and outstanding performance put up by exceptional race car drivers.
Since its debut in 1981, the Formula One has featured intense car racing action which no other racing tournament matches. From the controversy generated by driver’s rivalry to the contract disputes between drivers and F1 teams, the action in the sports never dies.
As with any sport, the huge portion of the financial success has gone to the Formula One drivers who have achieved great success on the tracks. In this article, we’ll review and rank the top-10 highest-paid F1 drivers in the world as of the 2020 season.
The highest-Paid F1 drivers and their salaries
10. Esteban Ocon – €1.5 Million Per Year
A beneficiary of the Mercedes drivers development program, Ocon is relatively one of the new and young drivers in Formula 1. The 23 years old F1 driver debuted in Formula 1 at the Belgian Grand Prix in 2016, while driving for team Manor. His search for success in Formula 1 has seen him drive for 4 teams since his debut in the F1. Some may say he probably has a commitment issue, but Ocon, who will be racing for Renault in the 2020 season is the 10th highest paid F1 driver. His huge contract may be due to the fact that his youthful vigour and hunger for success may translate to success in the nearest future. Ocon received an annual salary valued at €1.5 million.
9. Sergio Pérez – €3 Million Per Year
Dubbed The Mexican Wunderkind as a result of his early performance in the Formula 1, Sergio Pérez is one of the recognized F1 drivers who though may not be readily known to the media as such, due to the fact that he has not won any race in the F1. Pérez debuted in the 2011 Australian Grand Prix and since then he has gone on to feature in 179 races. He is most recognized for his 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix run where he took his first Podium in the Formula 1. It’s no surprise he is featured in the top-10 highest-paid drivers in Formula 1, as he is known for signing lucrative desks such as his €15 million Force India deal in December 2013. Pérez who will drive for Racing Point in 2020 will receive as much as €3 million annually in salary.
8. Carlos Sainz Jr. – €3.5 Million Per Year
The Spanish Formula 1 driver has a family background deeply rooted in Motorsports racing. Carlos’ father raced in the World Rally Championship and emerged champion, twice. Walking in his father’s footsteps, Carlos chose a career in motorsports racing and competed in the Formula 3, GP3 as well as the Formula Renault 3.5 before debuting in the Formula 1 in 2015 at the Australian Grand Prix.
Unlike his father, Carlos had not won a championship in the Formula 1 or any of the racing tournaments he has featured in. Despite that, his driving skills have earned him one of the most lucrative contracts as he will receive an annual salary of €3.5 million in 2020. Carlos who is currently the 8th highest-paid F1 driver in the world will be racing for team McLaren.
7. Kimi Räikkönen – €4 Million Per Year
Though the Finnish driver has not seen success in recent years, he is certainly one of the best F1 drivers in the world right now. The man dubbed the Iceman debuted in the 2001 Australian Grand Prix, and reached the peak of his career after winning the 2007 Formula 1 Championship. But after failing to defend his championship two years after his win, he went on sabbatical to the World Rally Championship before returning to F1 in 2012. Kimi Räikkönen who is the most successful Finnish F1 driver in history races for Alfa Romeo and will receive an annual salary of about €4 million in 2020.
6. Valtteri Bottas – €7.5 Million Per Year
Another Finnish Formula 1 driver, Botta’s fame in the Formula 1 doesn’t match that of Räikkönen, but his salary outweighs Räikkönen’s. Bottas who debuted in the 2013 Australian Grand Prix for team Williams competed with the team until 2016, where he made the move to Mercedes and teamed up with Formula 1 Champion, Lewis Hamilton. His move to Mercedes was beneficial as he grabbed his first victory before going on to gain 6 more. Bottas will earn €7.5 million in salary in the 2020 season.
5. Charles Leclerc – €9 Million Per Year
New to Formula 1, Charles Leclerc is an exceptional Motorsport racer. Prior to his stint in the Formula 1, Leclerc competed in the GP3 Series championship, which he won in 2016 as well as the FIA Formula 2 Championship, which he also won in 2017. Following his success at those tournaments, he proceeded to Formula 1, where he made his first entry in the 2018 Australian Grand Prix.
He went on to win the 2019 Belgian and Italian Grand Prix races, which led him to emerge 4th in the F1 Championship, an impressive performance for a driver new to Formula 1. For his amazing performance, Leclerc was rewarded with a lucrative contract by Ferrari in December 2019. In the 2020 season, he will receive €9 million in salary.
4. Max Verstappen – €18 Million Per Year
Dutch Formula 1 driver, Max Verstappen, had been rolling with the big boys in Formula 1, even before he became an adult legally. The 22 years old Formula 1 driver holds the record for being the youngest driver to race in Formula 1. Max Verstappen who was 17 when he debuted in the 2015 Australian Grand Prix, had already shown great promise in racing. Prior to his Formula 1 debut, Max had already won the European Formula 3 Championship.
In his debut season in the F1, his performance was rewarded with the FIA Rookie of the Year award. He has gone to win 7 races in the Formula 1 Championship since his 2015 debut. In 2019, he emerged third in the Formula 1 Championship and also won the FIA Action of the Year award. Max, who races for Red Bull will receive €18 million in salary.
3. Daniel Ricciardo – €18 Million Per Year
A talented driver, Daniel Ricciardo is probably the best Formula 1 driver from Australia at the moment. Since he made his debut in the 2011 British Grand Prix, he had been on an incredible run in Formula 1. In his first three races in Formula 1, he emerged third but struggled to see any victory. It was until the 2014 Canadian Grand Prix, that he claimed his first victory in Formula 1. Daniel Ricciardo has won 7 races since his debut in Formula 1. He races for Renault and will receive €18 million in salary in the 2020 season.
2. Sebastian Vettel – €42 Million Per Year
An established figure in Formula 1, Sebastian Vettel is one of the best drivers in Formula 1 and only a few can rival his reign. Vettel who first debuted in Formula 1 in the 2007 US Grand Prix, has won 53 races in Formula 1 and has also won 4 Formula 1 Championship, all consecutively. Vettel who has been in a tense rivalry with Formula defending champion Lewis Hamilton, since the departure of Nico Rosberg in 2016, holds several records in the F1 Championship such as the record for most successive wins in a season. Vettel who races for Ferrari is the second-highest-paid F1 driver in the world, with a set annual salary of about €42 million in the 2020 season alone.
1. Lewis Hamilton – €48 million Per Year
Not surprising, as Lewis Hamilton has been on a terrific run in F1 since he debuted in the Championship in the 2007 Australian Grand Prix. Lewis who has shown great promise since he was a boy, first tasted victory in the Formula One in the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix. His first Formula One Championship then came in the 2008 season. He, however, struggled to find another Championship win until the 2014 season.
Since then, aside from the 2016 Championship, he has won all editions of the Formula One Championship. Lewis Hamilton who is lauded as the greatest race car driver in the Formula One Championship holds several records in the Championship. Hamilton who races for Mercedes will receive a salary of €48 million in the 2020 season, making him the highest-paid F1 driver in the world right now. Hamilton who is the highest-paid driver in the history of F1 has total career earnings of around $500 million.
There you have it—our listing of the top-10 highest-paid F1 drivers in 2020 as well as the top F1 drivers’ salaries. What are your thoughts? Please share in the comments section below.