How Much Do You Make Winning an F1 Race?

Formula One is a lucrative industry that can make you a lot of money if your driver skills are good. According to 2020 reports, Formula 1 had $2 billion in revenue. What does Formula 1 earn or what does a race winner get? We answer all your questions about Formula 1 prizemoney.

Formula One drivers are not eligible for prize money. Their salaries are paid by their teams. The earnings of Formula One drivers or teams are generally not disclosed. Lewis Hamilton, a Mercedes contract holder, was the highest-paid F1 driver. He earned $65 millions. His per race salary was $2.9 million.

F1 drivers are among the most highly-paid athletes in all of world sport.  The salaries of F1 drivers are calculated based on their contracts with respective teams and bonuses. So how much do they make per F1 race?

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How is an F1 Race Driver’s Salary structured?

A F1 racecar driver’s salary depends on his contract with the team as well as the bonuses and points he earns during the season.

Formula One drivers don’t usually disclose their salaries, just like you won’t go around telling everyone how much you earn; they keep that information private. However, it doesn’t stop people guessing or speculating how much they make. Formula One finances are secretive and complex.

How F1 Prize money is calculated

Formula One doesn’t disclose the earnings of each participant, but we have been able to determine the formula that they used to calculate the prizemoney.

An F1 race’s income can easily exceed $100 million to $140million, and this number keeps rising each year. 

F1’s prize money is divided in two. The first half is shared among the top 10 ranked teams based upon their race results. The Formula One group and shareholders receive the other half. The primary prize money is calculated at around 47.5 percent of Formula One’s profit.

Ferrari is paid an estimated two and half percent of the prize cash. This percentage could rise over the years. Ferrari is the most respected and oldest racing team in F1 so the payment of two-and a half percent was a unique deal that was made with them.

Formula One Driver Salaries according to their Contract and Bonuses

An F1 driver’s salary is typically high, and the contract can include performance-based bonuses. A driver may receive a payment depending on whether he wins a race, finishes above a certain position or scores points. It all depends on the terms of his contract.

When Kimmi Raikkonen returned to F1 in 2012, he negotiated with Williams and the Lotus team boss Gérard Lopéz agreed to a €50,000 bonus for every world championship point Kimmi scored during the two-year contract as an example. He was so successful at earning points he accumulated 390 points in two years, which earned him €19.5 million in bonuses.

Every F1 driver’s salary is structured and negotiated in a particular way according to the team’s requirements, bonuses for wins, points, driver championship, constructors’ championship, sponsors, or endorsements sponsors and brand ambassadors are all structured into a driver’s salary.

Lewis Hamilton is the highest-paid driver. He earned $65million with Mercedes while Max Verstappen earned $23.5million with Red Bull. Lewis Hamilton’s salary is $65million a year, and his 3-year contract with Mercedes is worth $200 million. 

 Lewis Hamilton signed a Mercedes two-year extension contract in 2018 that paid him a base salary around $30 million. After adding up the bonuses, the total reached more than $50,000,000 per year in 2019 and 2020.

According to Forbes, Hamilton’s worth was estimated at $54 million in May 2020.  His endorsements alone reached $12 million, which pushed Hamilton’s career earnings close to $285 million.

Lewis signed a 1-year contract for Mercedes in February 2021. This gave him a base pay of $55M.

Sebastian Vettel, driving for Aston Martin, earns $23 Million In 2021, there were a few contract extensions and salary increases for F1 drivers. These increased salaries are increasing.

Max Verstappen’s payment for winning the 2021 F1 race in Abu Dhabi came from the Red Bull team.

Red Bull pays Verstappen’s salary, and they also pay his winnings for the F1 championship in Abu Dhabi 2021; because of his spectacular win, he is said to receive an additional $17 million in bonuses, bringing his estimated earnings this year to $42 million. Instead of F1, his bonus is paid through contractual agreements and sponsorships. Verstappen is number 2 on the Forbes List of Formula 1 drivers who are highest-paid.

Salary estimates for F1 drivers paid by teams

Show me the money! Here is an “estimated” breakdown of F1 2020/2021 drivers’ salaries.

  • Lewis Hamilton
  • Base salary $55,000,000
  • Salary per race $2.9 Million
  • Team Mercedes – 2021
  • Max Verstappen
  • Base salary 25 million
  • Salary per race: $1 Million
  • Team Red Bull – 2023
  • Sebastian Vettel
  • Base salary $23,000,000
  • Salary per race: $1 Million
  • Team Aston Martin – 2021
  • Valtteri Bottas
  • Base Salary $10 Million
  • Average salary per race: $900,000.
  • Team Mercedes – 2021
  • Fernando Alonso
  • Base salary: $20 million
  • Average salary per race: $900,000
  • Team Alpine – 2022
  • Daniel Ricciardo
  • Base salary $15 Million
  • Salary per race $681 500
  • Team McLaren – 2023
  • Kimi Räikkönen
  • Base Salary $10 Million
  • Salary per race $570,000
  • Team Alfa Romeo – 2021
  • Charles Leclerc
  • Base Salary $12 Million
  • Average salary per race: $565,000
  • Team Ferrari – 2024
  • Carlos Sainz Jr
  • Base Salary $10 Million
  • Salary per race $227,500
  • Team Ferrari – 2021
  • Sergio Pérez
  • Base salary $8,000,000
  • Salary per race $160,000
  • Team Red Bull – 2021
  • Lando Norris
  • Base salary: $5 million
  • Salary per race $156,500
  • Team McLaren – 2022
  • Pierre Gasly
  • Base salary: $5 million
  • Salary per race $68,200
  • Team AlphaTauri – 2021
  • Lance Stroll
  • Base Salary $10 Million
  • Salary per race $68,200
  • Team Aston Martin – 2021
  • Esteban Ocon
  • Base salary: $5 million
  • Salary per race $45,500
  • Team Alpine – 2024
  • Antonio Giovinazzi
  • Base salary 1 million
  • Salary per race $45,500
  • Team Alfa Romeo – 2021
  • George Russell
  • Base salary 1 million
  • Salary per race $27,500
  • Team Williams – 2021
  • Nicholas Latifi
  • Base salary 1 million
  • Salary per race $27,500
  • Team Williams – 2021
  • Mick Schumacher
  • Base salary 1 million
  • Salary per race: N/A
  • Team Haas – 2021
  • Yuki Tsunoda
  • Base salary $500,000
  • Salary per race: N/A
  • Team AlphaTauri – 2021
  • Nikita Mazepin
  • Base salary 1 million
  • Salary per race: N/A
  • Team Haas – 2021

Capacity for F1

The Formula One group set a $145 Million cost cap for each team during the 2021 season. This cost cap applies only to performance-based expenses like car building, optimizing engines and car structuring. The cost cap does not apply to branding, bonuses or hotel expenses. Formula One driver salaries do not have to be affected by the cost cap. Teams can pay their drivers what they like.

The Top 6 Formula One Drivers with the Highest Earnings

1. Michael Schumacher – Retired – Net Worth: $780M

Michael Schumacher takes the number one spot. Although he returned to racing in 2009 after a long retirement, we all know that his most prominent career was at Ferrari.

Michael Schumacher was the second highest-earning international athlete, with half of his earnings coming from Ferrari. Euro business magazine named Schumacher as the world’s first billionaire athlete in 2005.

Schumacher, who is the most decorated Formula One racer in history, holds the records of the most career wins and wins in a season, as well as the most consecutive races wins, world championships wins, and career pole positions.

A large portion of Schumacher’s net worth came from advertising. The German financial company Deutsche Vermögensberatung paid Michael $8 million to wear a 10 cm by 8 cm advertisement patch on his baseball cap.

Michael Schumacher is the owner of luxury mansions located on Lake Geneva. He is said to own a private island in ‘The World’ off the sunny coast of the UAE.

2. Lewis Hamilton – Active – Net Worth: $280M

Lewis Hamilton takes the number two spot in our list; the Mercedes driver at the moment is on par with Michael Schumacher for seven Mercedes world titles.

Hamilton’s estimated net worth is $280 million as one of the most marketable drivers with endorsement deals with Monster Energy, L’Oreal, Reebok and Santander, and many others thought to earn $ 55 million a season in sponsorships.

Lewis Hamilton received a knighthood on 15 December 2021 at Windsor Castle after being named in the Queen’s New Year Honours. Hamilton was knighted on 15 December 2021 by Prince of Wales, making him the fourth F1 driver ever to receive this honor.

Hamilton made it to the Queen’s Honours List in 2020 after equaling Michael Schumacher’s record of seven championships. Hamilton is British citizen. A knighthood is a title bestowed by the British queen or king to recognize high achievement and service to their country.

3. Fernando Alonso – Active – Net Worth: $240M

Fernando Alonso, the youngest Formula One champion in 2000s, was an instant star and quickly became a prominent name in motorsport.

The two-time Formula One World Champion is widely considered one of F1’s greatest race car drivers. His career income is estimated at $ 240million.

Fernando Alonso was a Minardi employee in 2001. He joined Renault soon afterwards. This is where he ended Michael Schumacher’s dominance in F1.  Fernando was later a member of McLaren, Ferrari, McLaren, McLaren and Honda. He signed a deal with Alpine in 2021.

His success earned him an estimated $240million and he was ranked as the 24th most-paid athlete in the world.

4. Kimi Räikkönen – Retired – Net Worth: $200M

Kimmi Räikkönen “The Iceman” is one of F1 most loved drivers. At the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the 2007 world champion announced his retirement from F1 as well as Alfa Romeo.

Kimmi Räikkönen is nicknamed ‘The Iceman’ because of his ice-cold calmness and cool demeanor under pressure.

After a successful 17-year driving career, he now has a net worth of around $200 million. He beat Lewis Hamilton in the F1 Ferrari championship with just one point in 2007.

In 2009, the Iceman was ranked second in terms of global athletes with highest salaries.

5. Alain Prost – Retired – Net Worth: $185M

Four-time F1 champion, he is one of the most accomplished drivers in racing history. With an estimated net worth $185 million, the 66-year old is the oldest driver on top earner’s list.

Alain Prost was a multi-millionaire who invested in stock and property as well as endorsement deals to supplement his race earnings. This helped him build his net worth. Alain Prost has been called a legend in motorsport.

Alain Prost was a winner in the $500,000 Legends Charity Race. The foundations included Franz Beckenbauer Foundation, Farm Africa, Menino’s do Morumbi, UK Youth, Jurgen Klinsmann Foundation, and boasted drivers Nigel Mansell, Jody Scheckter, Mick Doohan, Emerson Fittipaldi, and Johnny Cecotto.

6. Eddie Irvine – Retired – Net Worth: $180M

Our sixth-ranked F1 driver is Eddie Irvine, an Irish driver who enjoyed a successful ten year F1 racing career with Jaguar, Ferrari and Jordan in the 1990s. Eddie Irvine joined Jaguar in 2000 after four victories at Ferrari. He became the sole driver to take team Jaguar to victory in 2001. He retired from motorsport in 2002. 

After retiring, Irvine reinvented his self as an investor/property developer. He has many Florida holiday homes and beach homes. A luxury Caribbean resort is part of his portfolio. With many well-placed investments and an $18m superyacht, Eddie Irvine’s $180 million is well earned.


F1 drivers can make a lot of money. Reports show that F1 made more than $2B in revenue in 2021. Drivers don’t get paid directly for race winnings. Instead, the racing teams pay the driver’s salaries. F1 drivers get additional bonuses via sponsorships, contractual agreements, endorsements and endorsements. This is in addition to the F1 race prize money.