Forbes wrote about this subject in 2018 when the combined spend of the 10 Formula 1 teams that season was in the order of $2.6 Billion. Of course, the three teams with the largest budgets and the deepest pockets were the usual subjects Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull Racing. When you click on this Forbes link you can see who spent what and who was paid a lot.
The sport has a huge fan base and also gets a lot of media coverage. The drivers and stars of the show make out-of-this-world salaries, as you would expect for a person who risks his very life every time he goes to work for our viewing pleasure. But there is more…
Every item on a Formula 1 car is critical. Nothing can be “made-do” and nothing comes cheap. Under the bodywork are massive amounts of wire and more than 200 sensors. This comes down to a difference sometimes of split-seconds, which can win the race. More people have been to space than have driven a modern Formula 1 car.
The Formula 1 Rich List, 2020
Michael Schumacher – Net Worth, $800 million
German F1 driver Michael Schumacher, still recuperating from a skiing accident, is not only the wealthiest driver in the world, but he also holds the most World Drivers’ Championship titles along with reigning champion Lewis Hamilton. Schumi, as he is known to his fans, made a lot of his money through advertising, with German financial services company Deutsche Vermögensberatung. They paid him, over the years, up to $8 million per annum to wear an 8x10cm advert on his baseball cap.
Eddie Jordan – Net Worth, $475 million
Eddie Jordan, the former Irish motorsport team boss and television personality, started off in the City as a banker. In the 1970s, he tried after getting his start in karts. He won the Irish Kart Championship in 1971 before moving on to Formula Ford in 1974 and eventually getting as far as Formula 3. But realising he didn’t have the talent to go further, he gave up racing for managing race driver and then team ownership, eventually moving Joran Racing into F1.
Lewis Hamilton – Net Worth, $285 million
Lewis Hamilton is a British racing driver who races in F1 for Mercedes AMG Petronas. He won his first World Championship, with McLaren, in 2008, and his youth and good looks make him very popular with the advertisers and the ladies. He’s represented L’Oreal, Monster Energy, Reebok, and Santander to name a few. His net worth is $285 million but it looks like it can rise from there as lady luck continues to shine on him with him winning his seventh title last year.
Fernando Alonso – Net Worth, $240 million
Spanish F1 driver, Fernando Alonso, comes back to racing this year for Alpine (formerly Renaut) after a two year sabbatical. Alonso has won two Formula 1 World Championships. He was the youngest world champion that ever won the title and that gained him a lot of attention. Alonso ranks as the 24th highest-paid athlete in the world in terms of salary. Some people believe he is the greatest Formula 1 driver in history.
Kimi Räikkönen – Net Worth, $200 million
Kimi Räikkönen is a Finnish racing driver currently driving in Formula 1 for Sauber. He has won 21 Grand Prix, making him the leading Finnish Formula 1 driver with the most grand prix wins. Räikkönen is the only driver to take a win in the V10, V8, and the hybrid V6 engine eras.
Alain Prost – Net Worth, $185 million
At the age of 61, retired Alain Prost is the oldest driver on our list. Prost is the only Frenchman to take home the F1 championship and he took home four. Alain Prost won the Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship in 1985, 986, 1989, and 1983. He was also runner-up in 1983, 1984, 1988, and 1990. Prost also took 51 wins during the time of Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell, Nelson Piquet, and Niki Lauda‘s return.
Jenson Button – Net Worth, $150 in million
British racing driver and former Formula 1 driver, Button won the 2009 Formula 1 World Championship. He currently competes in the Japanese Super GT Series where he also took the title while driving for team Kunimitsu in 2019.
The racing industry generates massive amounts of revenue. The drivers that train and take the risks every day for the thrill of the sport and the love of the fans earn their large salaries. They know that any one of a million things can go wrong and in an instant, it could all be over. That’s why they live their lives to the fullest, every minute of every day. We could all stand to incorporate that into our lives a little more. Take that vacation we keep putting off. Order the champagne, play the lottery. Take a chance. It is okay to live your life to the fullest sometimes too…