Highest-paid F1 drivers revealed with Max Verstappen pay rise triggered – report

Jamie Woodhouse
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen holds his cap wearing a very pleased smile.

Max Verstappen holds his cap.

Max Verstappen can add another area of dominance to his F1 2023 campaign after comfortably taking the highest-paid driver crown, with a further pay rise now looming.

Verstappen set a new and potentially unmatchable standard in F1 2023 as he collected 19 grand prix victories out of a possible 22, his Red Bull team winning 21 overall.

It was a stroll then to back-to-back title doubles for driver and team, both finishing with more than double the points of their closest challengers, Sergio Perez and Mercedes respectively.

Max Verstappen pockets $70 million for F1 2023 masterclass

Unsurprisingly, Verstappen’s relentless success will be reflected very nicely in his bank account, with Forbes having revealed the 10 highest-paid drivers for F1 2023, who earned a combined $258m.

Forbes’ calculations are based on on-track earnings, so base salary and bonuses, with any personal endorsements that a given driver may enjoy not taken into account.

And for the second season on the trot, Verstappen tops the list with his $70m earned, formed by a base salary of $45m and a whopping $25m in bonuses to show for his unprecedented F1 2023 dominance.

F1 2024 marks the start of his Red Bull contract extension, taking him through to the end of 2028, which Forbes say will bring about a salary increase for the three-time World Champion.

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Lewis Hamilton came in at number two, the seven-time World Champion retaining the P1 spot for highest salary on the grid at $55m, though another disappointing campaign for the Brit and his Mercedes team meant a big zero next to his name in the bonuses column.

Hamilton went winless for a second season running in F1 2023, while Mercedes failed to take a victory during a campaign for the first time since 2011.

But, with a two-year extension signed with Mercedes, Hamilton will go into F1 2024 set on mounting a fresh title challenge to end the Verstappen reign.

Fernando Alonso comes in at number three with F1 2023 earnings of $34m, including $10m in bonuses after a sensational first season with Aston Martin where he scored eight podium finishes, while Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, the only non-Red Bull grand prix winner of F1 2023, also makes the top 10.

Here is how the top 10 list looks in full…

1. Max Verstappen, Red Bull: $70m ($45m salary, $25m bonuses)
2. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes: $55m ($55m + 0)
3. Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin: $34m ($24m + $10m)
4. Sergio Perez, Red Bull: $26m ($10m + $16m)
5. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari: $19m ($14m + $5m)
6. Lando Norris, McLaren: $15m ($5m + $10m)
7. Carlos Sainz, Ferrari: $14m ($8m + $6m)
8. George Russell, Mercedes: $9m ($4m + $5m)
=9. Pierre Gasly, Alpine: $8m ($5m + $3m)
=9. Oscar Piastri, McLaren: $8m ($3m + $5m)

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