That’s a $40 million dollar grin. Photo credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images
That’s a $40 million dollar grin. Photo credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

How much does your favorite Formula One driver make? Answer: a lot. Even the series’ lowest-paid driver—Sauber’s Pascal Wehrlein—still makes $150,000 in 2017, per Fox Sports’ list of drivers’ salaries. Meanwhile, McLaren’s Fernando Alonso will make a whopping $40 million, making him F1's highest paid driver.

We knew there had to be some reason why the two-time world champion was sticking around in McLaren’s dog of a car, and money doesn’t lie. Hopefully McLaren fares better with the new 2017 cars, because it’s the last year of Alonso’s contract, and we’re as tired as Alonso is of seeing him fart around mid-pack.


Most past world champions are at the higher end of the scale, with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton taking home $31 million before bonuses. Depending on how Ferrari does this year, Sebastian Vettel may end up making more than Alonso. Alonso’s $40 million figure includes bonuses, however, Sebastian Vettel will take home $30 million before bonuses—which could put him over the $40 million mark, with any luck.

Go on, Seb. Buy a friggin’ castle. A castle full of 488s.

Surprisingly, Mercedes’ new young driver Valtteri Bottas will make $8.5 million this year—$1.5 million more than Ferrari’s 2007 world champion Kimi Räikkönen. Räikkönen took a pay cut when he resigned with Ferrari for another year, so here’s hoping that karaoke bar takes off and makes bank.

Another surprise? Red Bull’s drivers are a relative bargain, with fan favorites Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen making $6.5 million and $3 million before bonuses, respectively.

Unsurprisingly, the drivers paid under $1 million skew younger and less experienced. The lone driver without any salary data is young Williams newcomer Lance Stroll—so, were the haters calling the Canadian F1 rookie with lots of daddy’s moolah a pay driver right or what? I mean, it’s not like he’s the so-called leader of the free world or anything, but we’re curious now. Plus, I’m sure Papa Stroll is ready for his kid to start carrying his own weight ‘round the house.


You can peruse Fox Sports’ whole list of expected 2017 F1 paychecks here.

Contributor, Jalopnik. 1984 "Porschelump" 944 race car, 1971 Volkswagen 411 race car, 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS.

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