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verstappen forbes highest earner f1-2023

Verstappen tops Forbes 2023 list of highest earning F1 drivers

verstappen forbes highest earner f1-2023

Max Verstappen was comfortably the top-earning driver during the 2023 Formula 1 World Championship season, the Red Bull triple World Champion earned $70-million during his record-breaking rampage. [The methodology used by Forbes is detailed below]

The 26-year-old Dutch ace powered to a remarkable and unprecedented 19 Grand Prix victories this past season, claiming his third F1 crown in three years well before 2023 was over. All of which is likely to have contributed to his $25-million in bonuses.

Lewis Hamilton on $55-million per year from Mercedes remains the highest retainer, $10-million more than Red Bull pays Verstappen. But the 38-year-old Briton earned zero bonus after a second winless season is a row.

In all, the ten highest-paid drivers in F1 banked an estimated (pre-taxes) $258-million this year, a tad down from 2022’s $264 million.

Fernando Alonso was third on the list. The 42-year-old’s bold move away from Alpine to Aston Martin proved to be a masterstroke in timing. He enjoyed a renaissance, delighted in celebrating eight GP podiums in 2024, 23 years since his F1 debut in 2001.

Sergio Perez was the fourth-highest earner. Although comprehensively outbeaten by Verstappen in the other Red Bull, the Mexican veteran finished second, to give the team their first one-two in the F1 Drivers’ Championship standings. Although his bonuses amounting to $16-million were more than double his retainer. Checo might’ve earned a great deal more had his form not plummeted early on in the campaign.

Mercedes driver Russell earned more in bonuses than Hamilton did from Mercedes

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At Ferrari, Charles Leclerc was on a higher retainer than Sainz, but the Spaniard edged the Monagasque in bonuses, thanks to a solitary victory in Singapore. Leclerc and Sainz were the fifth and seventh-highest earners. Lando Norris split the pair as the sixth-highest earner with his handy $15-million payday.

Down from eight-digit annual ‘cheques’ to seven digits, George Russell earned substantially less than teammate Hamilton, although the younger of the two Mercedes drivers did earn bonus points despite no wins.

Pierre Gasly was P9 on the list, but Alpine teammate Esteban Ocon failed to make it into the Top 10. The final spot going to outstanding rookie Oscar Paistri who cost McLaren a relatively paltry $3-million, which he added $5-million to thanks to his stellar showings on track, including Sprint Race winner in Qatar.

Other earnings that are not accounted for are personal deals that drivers have with sponsors. Notably, Verstappen has a handy collection of private backers as well as a thriving merchandising add-on to his phenomenal F1 success.

The 2022 F1 driver earnings are here>>>

Below are the Forbes calculated earnings by Formula 1 drivers in 2023:

F1 News: Max Verstappen Takes Home Staggering Bonus After Dominant 2023 Season - F1 Briefings: Formula 1 News, Rumors, Standings and More

Forbes Methodology Explained:

With few Formula 1 driver salaries publicly available, Forbes generated its on-track compensation estimates in collaboration with Forbes.com contributor Caroline Reid of the data firm Formula Money. The estimates are based on financial documents, legal filings and press reports, as well as conversations with industry insiders. All figures are rounded to the nearest million.

Drivers typically receive a base salary plus bonuses for points scored or for race or championship wins, with the bonus amount depending on the size of the team and the experience of the driver. Off-track compensation, including endorsements, is not included in this ranking. Forbes does not deduct for taxes or agents’ fees.