Fernando Alonso Earns $37,000,000 More Than Max Verstappen

2017 Formula 1 driver salaries run the spectrum from the superrich to the not-quite-enough to live in Brooklyn.

byMike Guy|
F1 photo


Is it fair that Fernando Alonso, a driver who hasn't won a championship in more than a decade, is far and away the highest-paid driver in Formula 1? For all his prodigious talents behind the wheel, Alonso has had terrible luck (whose last victory was in a Ferrari in Spain in 2013) for since his brilliant, championship-winning runs with Renault in 2005 and 2006.  

And yet he earns a base salary nearly $9 million higher than Lewis Hamilton, who if it weren't for some horrid luck, would have been the 2016 champion. By default, Hamilton steps into the top slot on the grid after the unceremonious retirement of reigning champion (and F1 footnote) Nico Rosberg. Lewis reaps the second largest salary windfall, with $31 million, besting Sebastian Vettel by a cool mill. 

Valtteri Bottas takes a huge step up—to $8.5 million—by signing with Mercedes AMG. He was making just $3.5 million at Williams. The bottom seven earners are all under $1 million, with Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber's talented #1 driver, earning $150,000, or not quite enough to live in Brooklyn, NY. 

1. Fernando Alonso (McLaren): $40 million including bonuses

2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes): $31 million plus bonuses

3. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari): $30 million plus bonuses

4. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes): $8.5 million including bonuses

5. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari): $7 million plus bonuses

6. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull): $6.5 million plus bonuses

7. Felipe Massa (Williams): $5 million

8. Nico Hulkenberg (Renault F1): $3 million

9. Max Verstappen (Red Bull): $3 million plus bonuses

10. Sergio Perez (Force India): $2.5 million

11. Romain Grosjean (Haas F1): $1.5 million

12. Kevin Magnussen (Haas F1): $1 million

13. Jolyon Palmer (Renault F1): $1 million

14. Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso): $750,000

15. Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso): $750,000

16. Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren): $300,000 plus bonuses

17. Marcus Ericsson (Sauber): $285,000

18. Esteban Ocon (Force India): $185,000

19. Pascal Wehrlein (Sauber): $150,000

20. Lance Stroll (Williams): Unknown