Who Has the Biggest F1 Paycheck?

Who Has the Biggest F1 Paycheck?

As we get ready for the very first Formula One night race in Singapore, has the rising cost of fuel and global financial crisis burnt a hole in one of the world’s most lucrative sporting brands? Does living life in the fast lane really pay? We uncover the 10 fattest paychecks in the sport. Figures do not include endorsement deals. 

(All figures taken from Auto Motor Und Sport. Photo : AP and Toyota)

David Coulthard & Nico Rosberg (tie)

This is David’s last season in F1. Having been on the scene for the last 15-years, the track veteran received US$5 million from Red Bull Racing for the 2008 racing season.

Nico shares the same spot, earning US$5 million this season from AT&T Williams.

Photo : AP

Lewis Hamilton

Although Lewis’ 2008 payslip from McLaren only amounts to US$5 million, his meteoric rise to fame has attracted numerous sponsorship deals. According to Sports Illustrated, the Brit earned an estimated US$27.6 million in 2007.

Photo : AP

Jarno Trulli

Jarno, renowned for his qualifying pace, will take home US$6.5 million as Toyota’s 2008 F1 driver.

Photo : Toyota F1

Mark Webber

The Australian driver recently extended his contract with Red Bull Racing for another year, to 2009. He earns US$7.5 million for participating in this year’s F1 circuit.

Photo : AP

Rubens Barrichello

The Brazilian driver, who joined Honda’s fold in 2006, will earn US$9 million this season. Rubens also holds the record for the driver who has started the most Grands Prix.

Photo : AP

Nick Heidfeld

Quick Nick, as he’s often called, will earn US$11 million for donning the BMW outfit this season. The German will be looking to score his top spot on the podium this season, in hopes of breaking the curse that has plagued him since his career began in 2000.

Photo : AP

Felipe Massa

Brazil-born Felipe will earn US$12 million this season. The driver recently extended his contract with Ferrari to the end of 2010.

Photo : AP

Jenson Button

Jenson scored his very first F1 win when he joined team Honda in 2006. The Brit will bring home US$16 million this season, the third highest paid driver in the F1 circuit.

Photo : AP

Kimi Räikkönen

Nicknamed ‘Iceman’ for his cool and collected race demeanour, the Finnish 2007 champion lost his place as the top earner in F1. Ferrari-clad Kimi earned US$22 million this season.

But he remains a top favourite with sponsors, as Sports Illustrated reported that including endorsements, Kimi banked in US$46 million in 2007.

Photo : AP

Fernando Alonso

The world’s youngest two-time world champion is also at the top of the earnings leader board. The Spaniard is estimated to earn about $28 million for getting behind the wheels of Renault this season.

In addition, Sports Illustrated cited that the UNICEF Goodwill ambassador scored US$35 million in 2007, inclusive of sponsorship deals.

Photo : AP