Formula 1 is the fastest racing series on the planet where we see the quickest drivers on Earth. Driving an F1 car is dangerous, but also requires a special set of skills that many racing drivers lack. As a result, Formula 1 drivers' salaries are higher than any other racing series. But how much do they really earn and who has earned the most? Here are the net worths of Formula 1 drivers, including those who didn't fulfill their potential. Let's dig in!
Michael Schumacher - $780 Million
When you think about the word "domination", the face of Michael Schumacher probably comes to mind. The German F1 driver dominated the sport from 1994 to 2004, winning seven driver's titles (joint record), recording 91 wins, 68 pole positions, 77 fastest laps, and 13 wins in one season.
The numbers behind his name are certainly outstanding, and so is his wealth. According to some sources, Schumacher has amassed a net worth of $780 million in his career, making him by far the wealthiest Formula 1 driver. Sadly, Schumacher had a ski accident in the French Alps with severe consequences, although his family doesn't communicate updates about his recovery.
Lewis Hamilton - $280 Million
Just a decade ago, Schumacher's records seemed to be unattainable for a very long time. Then an unlikely combination came to fruition - Lewis Hamilton arrived at the Mercedes-AMG F1 team. The Brit has won seven Formula 1 titles, six of them with the Mercedes-AMG team, which is more than dominant in the sport.
Hamilton also overtook Schumacher with 95 wins, 98 pole positions, and 165 podium finishes. Hamilton has made his mark in history as the most successful Formula 1 driver, at least until some other dominating team arrives. According to various sources, he also amassed around $280 million over the years, making him by far the wealthiest F1 driver of the current crop.
Fernando Alonso - $220 Million
Much to the joy of Formula 1 fans around the world, Fernando Alonso will return to the championship in 2021. The Spaniard has 'only' won two titles with Renault in 2005 and 2006, but nevertheless, many consider him to be the most skilled driver on the grid.
Throughout his career, Alonso won 32 races, had 97 podiums, and 22 pole positions. Unlike his F1 competitors, though, Fernando also won the 24h Le Mans with Toyota and drove in the IndyCar Championship and even the Dakar Rally. As a result, his net worth is around $220 million, and will certainly increase when he gets back to F1.
Ayrton Senna - $200 Million
Ayrton Senna is arguably the most skilled Formula 1 driver of all time, consistently beating his competitors, even while driving a slower car. As a result, Senna quickly became a fan favorite - people loved to watch him drive. Unfortunately, the Brazilian died in an accident at the San Marino Grand Prix in 1994, an event that changed F1's safety regulations forever.
Senna was so good that up until that moment, he had recorded 41 wins, 80 podiums, and a staggering 65 pole positions. At the time of his death (34 years old), Senna's net worth was $200 million, an outstanding number for the time.
Niki Lauda - $200 Million
Niki Lauda wasn't short of setbacks throughout his career, suffering a horrific crash at the 1976 German Grand Prix, with his car burning into flames. Miraculously, Lauda returned to the sport just six weeks later. The Austrian won three championships overall, although he probably would've won one more if it wasn't for the accident in 1976.
However, his meticulous driving style will always be remembered in the sport, and also the fact that he is the only driver to win a title with both Ferrari and McLaren. Lauda's net worth today is $200 million, but most of it comes from investments in the Mercedes-AMG team, where he serves as a chairman.
Kimi Räikkönen - $200 Million
Kimi Räikkönen, known as "The Iceman" thanks to his stone-cold personality and driving style, is one of the most famous Formula 1 drivers of the modern era. The Finnish driver has only won one title but has come close to claiming a few more. He also has 21 wins in his portfolio, 103 podiums, 18 pole positions, and 46 fastest laps.
At age 41, Kimi still drives in Formula 1 for the Alfa Romeo team, breaking the record for most starts in the sport's history. And, why wouldn't he - the sport has gotten him to a $200 million net worth, making him among the wealthiest F1 drivers of all time.
Alain Prost - $185 Million
Alain Prost was the most formidable opponent to Ayrton Senna, creating perhaps the greatest rivalry in Formula 1's history. Unlike Senna's aggressive driving style, Prost was known for his academic approach, giving him the nickname "The Professor." Prost was also very good at setting up an F1 car, making the most out of any team that he competed for.
The Frenchman has won four championships, won 51 times, and has 106 podiums to his name. Throughout his career, Alain earned almost $185 million, making him among the most successful drivers of all time in terms of net worth.
Sebastian Vettel - $140 Million
Before Hamilton and Mercedes-AMG took Formula 1 by storm, many considered Sebastian Vettel as the driver to break all Schumacher's records. However, Vettel's time with Ferrari wasn't as successful as the period that he drove for Red Bull. Notably, he won all of his four titles with the latter, in four consecutive years, from 2010 to 2013.
Nonetheless, the German continued to win races, bringing his tally to 53, enough for a third-place on the all-time list, only behind Hamilton and Schumacher. At the moment, his net worth is $140 million, making him one of the wealthiest drivers of the era.
Eddie Irvine - $120 Million
Eddie Irvine is probably a name that the younger audience isn't very familiar with, and for a good reason. The Irishman only won four races in his career, and never won a title, although he came close in 1999. Irvine also has 22 podiums to his name, but no pole positions. He also drove in the 24h Le Mans race for SARD Toyota, finishing second.
Nonetheless, his career as an investor and a media personality in the UK contributed to a net worth of $120 million, far better than most drivers of his era.
Jenson Button - $105 Million
Jenson Button was always a formidable opponent in Formula 1, although nobody saw him as a possible champion. However, in 2009 he drove for the Brawn GP team, which had the most time to prepare for the new rules and therefore was by far the fastest in the first half of the season.
Button won the title that year, which is the only one to his name. The Brit also amassed 15 wins throughout his career, and 8 pole positions. His net worth is admirable, sitting at $105 million. Button finished his F1 career in 2017, but in 2018 drove in the Japanese Super GT championship for Team Kunimitsu, where he narrowly won the title.
Mario Andretti - $130 Million
Mario Gabriele Andretti is one of the most popular drivers of all time, racing in Formula 1, IndyCar, and NASCAR, winning a race in every one of them. Notably, he won one championship in F1 and four in IndyCar. Andretti is one of two drivers to win the Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500, and the Formula 1 championship, along with Juan Pablo Montoya.
Furthermore, Andretti's career spanned 34 years, which is among the longest in racing history. As a result, Andretti earned $130m in his career, making him among the wealthiest racing drivers of all time.
Ralf Schumacher - $100 Million
Ralf Schumacher never reached the heights of his brother, winning 6 races, scoring 27 podiums, and 6 pole positions. Ralf also never won a title in Formula 1, although he was among the highest-paid drivers. Driving for Jordan, Williams BMW, and Toyota in his F1 career, he had 180 starts behind his name. Later, the German performed in the DTM championship, although without much success.
Despite his middling performance on the track, Ralf Schumacher amassed $100 million, although much of his net worth comes from investing, particularly in the Mücke Motorsport auto racing team.
Nelson Piquet - $100 Million
Ask some of the older Formula 1 fans to give you the five best drivers of all time, and you'll probably hear the name Nelson Piquet. The Brazilian won three F1 titles, during an era when it was arguably the most difficult to win, with Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell, and Martin Brundle also on the paddock.
Moreover, Piquet also gathered 23 wins, 60 podiums, and 24 pole positions. Today, he also manages his sons, Nelson Piquet Jr. and Pedro Piquet, both racing drivers, and also runs several businesses. Nelson Piquet's net worth is around $100 million today.
Jody Scheckter - $100 Million
Jody Sheckter is another popular name that you'd hear on the list of the best racing drivers. The South African is also the only driver from the continent to win a championship in Formula 1 (1979), a record that stays to this day. He also won 10 races in his eight-year career, 3 pole positions, and 33 podiums.
Later in his life, Jody ran other businesses, using the money to help his sons, Tomas and Toby, in their racing careers. Today, the South African main focus is biodynamic farming. His net worth is $100 million.
Martin Brundle - $100 Million
Many modern Formula 1 fans know Martin Brundle as a racing commentator, but the Brit was also an outstanding racing driver. However, Brundle has never won a championship or even a race. Although, to his credit, he drove in the same era with Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, and Nelson Piquet.
He started in 158 races, scoring 98 career points. Brundle also won the 24h Le Mans race in 1990, his most significant sporting achievement. Today, Brudnle's estimated net worth is around $100 million, although it mostly comes from activities other than racing.
Rubens Barrichello - $100 Million
Rubens Barichello was a fairly successful driver in Formula 1, probably without a title, because he drove for Ferrari when Michael Schumacher was there. Nonetheless, the Brazilian still won 11 races, had 68 podium finishes and 14 pole positions. He also started in 322 races, which is second of all-time behind Kimi Räikkönen.
Rubens raced in the IndyCar series, finishing 12th overall in 2012, and won the Stock Car Brasil championship in 2014. Throughout his career, Barichello earned $100 million, which isn't too bad for a driver that has never won a title.
Nigel Mansell - $90 Million
Nigel Mansell raced in perhaps the most competitive era in Formula 1, battling with the likes of Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Nelson Piquet, and later even with Michael Schumacher. Known for his warm and welcoming personality, Mansell won his only championship in 1992, driving for Williams. He was also the first driver to win in a car with a semi-automatic gearbox.
Throughout his career, Mansell earned $90 million. He also has 31 wins to his name, 32 pole positions, and 59 podiums. Later, he entered the British Touring Car Championship, where he had a horrific accident where he was knocked unconscious.
David Coulthard - $70 Million
David Coulthard is another racer who has never won a championship. Curiously, he is also known as not being a "car enthusiast," unlike most Formula 1 drivers. The Brit was racing in the sport from 1994 to 2008, winning 13 races, 62 podiums, and 12 pole positions. He also raced in the 24h Le Mans for TWR Jaguar Racing and Mücke Motorsport in DTM, albeit without much success.
Coulthard failed in modern racing because it was probably his overly smooth driving style, which doesn't suit modern tracks. Despite that, his net worth is $70 million, much higher than some more successful drivers from his era.
Max Verstappen - $60 Million
Max Verstappen is arguably the most talented Formula 1 driver today, consistently beating his teammates by a significant margin. Many consider him as the next grand champion, although he would probably need a faster car than the Red Bull he is currently on.
Despite driving a slower car, Max already has 10 wins and 3 pole positions on his portfolio. Besides, he is only 23, meaning that the best days are certainly ahead of him. Even at that age, the Belgian-Dutch driver has a net worth of $60 million, which could easily double in the coming years.
Heikki Kovalainen - $55 Million
Heikki Kovalainen was once coined as the successor to Mika Häkkinen and a driver capable of winning the title. However, in his 6-year stint in Formula 1, Heikki wasn't even close to achieving that. The Finn bagged only 1 win and pole position and 4 podiums, and that was when he drove for the competitive McLaren.
Later in his career, Kovalainen won a title in the Japanese Super GT championship (2016). Although he never reached his full potential in racing terms, Heikki's net worth today is $55 million. Not bad for an F1 driver who only won one race.
Daniel Ricciardo - $50 Million
Daniel Ricciardo is an Italian-Australian racing driver, beloved by fans for his smile and positive personality. In 2021, he will race for McLaren, having previously raced for Renault and Red Bull. He was the most successful in his Red Bull days, where he bagged 7 wins, 3 pole positions, and 15 fastest laps.
According to many, Daniel is a championship-caliber driver, which is why teams still pay him a very high salary - in 2021, he will make $10 million with McLaren. As a result, his net worth is $50 million, and it will definitely increase in the future.
Nico Rosberg - $50 Million
Walking in the footsteps of his famous father F1 champion, Keke, Nico Rosberg was a very successful racer from a young age. After winning the GP2 championship, Nico entered Formula 1, where he first drove for Williams and then for Mercedes-AMG.
Fans will remember Rosberg as the most formidable opponent of Lewis Hamilton. In 2016, he even managed to steal the title from the Brit, which is his only championship to date, since he quickly quit racing after winning it. In his 10-year F1 career, Rosberg won 23 times, has been on the podium 57 times, and had 30 pole positions. His net worth today is around $50 million.
Jacques Villeneuve - $50 Million
Another driver who walked in his father's footsteps, Jacques Villeneuve, took the world by storm when he entered Formula 1. Considered by many as the most talented driver of his generation, Jacques quickly showed he was very skilled, finishing second overall in his debut year in 1996.
Villeneuve won the championship the next year, announcing himself as the next big name in motorsport. However, his career went in a downward spiral from that moment - he never even got close to winning another title. Nonetheless, he still amassed $50 million throughout his racing career.
Lance Stroll - $50 Million
Lance Stroll is only 22 years old, has never won a race, yet he still has $50 million on his account. How is that? Well, his father, Canadian businessman Lawrence Stroll, is a billionaire, and also the owner of the Aston Martin-Mercedes team (previously Racing Point) where he drives.
However, Stroll is an excellent driver in his own right. Although one of the youngest on the paddock, the Canadian already bagged 1 pole position, 3 podiums, and scored 142 points. He also got visibly better in 2020, where he fought teammate Sergio Perez much more successfully. It would be interesting to see how Stroll manages with his new teammate, four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel.
Jean Alesi - $50 Million
Jean Alesi drove under the French flag, but he was of Italian origin and mostly drove for Italian teams. As a result, he was a fan-favorite among the Tifosi, who loved his aggressive driving style. Alesi was certainly fun to watch battling for positions, although he wasn't as successful as other names on this list.
Notably, the Frenchman bagged one Formula 1 win in his career, 2 pole positions, and 32 podiums. After 12 years in the sport, Jean raced in the DTM championship, where his best result was fifth overall. Despite his middling career, Alesi's net worth is $50 million.
Jackie Stewart - $50 Million
Nicknamed the "Flying Scot", Jackie Stewart was among the fastest and most successful racing drivers of his era. He only raced for nine years in Formula 1, yet managed to win three championships along with 27 wins, 43 podiums, and 17 pole positions. Moreover, he finished as a runner-up twice, meaning he was always up in the front.
Later in his life, Jackie managed the Stewart F1 Racing Team, along with his son, Paul. Aged 81, Stewart is the last Formula 1 driver of his era alive. His net worth is around $50 million.
James Hunt - $40 Million
James Hunt was known for many things, but mostly for his laid-back personality and his fierce rivalry with Niki Lauda, portraited in the 2013 movie Rush. The Englishman was also very popular among fans, especially the female demographic. Hunt spent only six years in the fastest motorsport, enough to bag one championship, 10 wins, 23 podiums, and 14 pole positions.
On the track, Hunt was known for his reckless driving, which might have been the reason why fans loved him so much. Sadly, Hunt passed away in 1993 from a heart attack at only 45 years old. At his peak, James had a net worth of around $40 million.
Juan Pablo Montoya - $35 Million
Juan Pablo Montoya was a fan-favorite in Formula 1, thanks to his aggressive driving style. However, the inability to bag a seat at a powerful team meant his F1 career lasted only six seasons. Still, that was enough for 7 wins, 13 pole positions, and 30 podiums.
Montoya saw his greatest success in the IndyCar Series, where he won five times. The Columbian is also the third driver in history to win an F1 race, the Indianapolis 500, and the Daytona 500. At age 45, he is still racing in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Throughout his prosperous career, Montoya earned $35 million.
Sergio Perez - $30 Million
Coined by many as the "Mexican Wunderkind," Sergio Perez is a popular name in F1's turbo-hybrid era. Sergio only drove for mid-pack teams in his career, although in 2020 he bagged his first win with the Racing Point team, after recovering from last place.
The heroic performance earned him the Red Bull spot, where he'll have a higher chance of competing with the Mercedes drivers. However, having Max Verstappen as a teammate might prove to be difficult for him. Thanks to the backing by Mexican telecom companies and F1's salary, Sergio Perez's net worth at age 31 is $30 million.
Damon Hill - $30 Million
A year before Jacques Villeneuve won the title; it was another son of a popular F1 driver that did the same. Namely, Damon Hill followed his father Graham's footsteps and won the championship in 1996. It was the first time that the son of an F1 champion has also won the title.
However, that was the highest point of his career - after Williams dropped him for the next season, he couldn't find fortunes with the Arrows and Jordan teams. Overall, Hill won 22 races, finished on 42 podiums, and bagged 20 pole positions. His net worth is projected at $30 million.
Keke Rosberg - $30 Million
Unlike his son and champion Nico, Keke Rosberg wasn't considered very talented at a young age. He was a good racing driver but often flew under the radar. Fortunately, he managed to enter the F1 championship at age 29, much later than competing drivers.
Despite the late entry, Keke had a good career, even managing to win one championship. However, the title came after Didier Pironi missed the last four races due to an accident. Overall, Keke won 5 races in his career (all on street tracks), along with 17 podiums and 5 pole positions. The Finn's net worth is estimated at around $30 million.
Valtteri Bottas - $20 Million
Like most of his compatriots, Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas is mightily quick behind the steering wheel on any car. He also showed he is capable in Formula 1, winning 9 races in his 8-year career, and 16 pole positions.
However, although driving for the dominant Mercedes-AMG today, Bottas still hasn't won the title. The reason? His teammate is a certain Lewis Hamilton. Valtteri will have another go at the title in 2021 when the German team should again be in front of the competition. Thanks to his overall good results and speed, Bottas' net worth today sits at around $20 million.
Emerson Fittipaldi - $17 Million
Brazilian Emerson Fittipaldi is one of the most successful names in racing history, having won two Formula 1 championships, two Indianapolis 500 races, and one CART championship. Emerson is so much into racing that he even raced at the 2014 6 Hours of São Paulo at age 67.
Fittipaldi is also famous for his rivalry with Jackie Stewart, both putting their stamp on F1 in the 70s. However, Emerson left McLaren two years after winning his second title to drive for his own Fittipaldi Automotive racing team. The move cost him a battle at the front and ultimately, a title challenge. Today, Fittipaldi's net worth is around $17 million.
Romain Grosjean - $16 Million
Romain Grosjean is one of the most successful junior drivers, having won multiple GP2 championships. The French-Swiss driver even had both the GP2 Asia and GP2 Series titles at the same time, a feat that wasn't repeated to this day.
Romain's career wasn't as successful, though. He is known for causing many accidents, and you can hear many people from the paddock joking about that. Nonetheless, he is still a very fast and skillful driver that could beat anyone on his day. Lately, Grosjean was in the news for the horrific crash he suffered at the Bahrain Grand Prix, where he left almost unscathed. This season, Romain will drive in the IndyCar series. His net worth is $16 million.
Mika Häkkinen - $15 Million
Nicknamed "The Flying Finn," Mika Häkkinen is arguably the best and most successful Finnish Formula 1 driver. Notably, he is one of three Finns to win a title but the only one to do that on two occasions. Häkkinen enjoyed a very successful stint at McLaren, where he started as a test driver in 1993.
In 1995, he had a horrid crash at the Adelaide Street Circuit, sustaining a skull fracture and a blockage to his airway. Fortunately, his life was saved by the trackside medical team. Two years later, Häkkinen won the championship with McLaren and repeated it in 1999. His net worth is estimated at around $15 million.
Charles Leclerc - $12 Million
Charles Leclerc is a hot property of Ferrari right now, having destroyed four-time world champion and teammate Sebastian Vettel in 2020. Many consider him the most talented young driver, with Max Verstappen coined as his biggest opponent in the coming years.
Leclerc is only 23 years old, yet he already won 2 races and finished on 12 podiums. He is especially fast in qualifying, amassing 7 pole positions in his short career. The result of his early success in the sport is a net worth of $12 million. However, that would almost double by the end of this year since he penned a deal with Ferrari for $11 million.
Jarno Trulli - $12 Million
Today, Jarno Trulli is a successful winemaker, bottling high-end wine in the Province of Pescara. However, his early life was much more turbulent, particularly in the period when he raced in Formula 1. Jarno was a quick driver but only earned one win throughout his career.
That's probably because he drove next to Fernando Alonso in Renault, but also because the other teams he drove for weren't particularly good. Nevertheless, with $12 million on his bank account, Trulli can say he had a successful life. Moreover, four pole positions in the fastest racing series in the world are nothing to be ashamed of.
Mark Webber - $10 Million
Mark Webber had a fairly successful stint in Formula 1, mostly when he drove for Red Bull Racing. However, his overall success was marred by none other than Sebastian Vettel, who literally stole the title from him in 2010.
Still, Webber won 9 races in his Formula 1 career, which isn't too shabby. He also has 13 pole positions under his name, 42 podiums, and 19 fastest laps. After quitting Formula 1 when the 2013 season has ended, Mark competed in 24h Le Mans, finishing second with Porsche in 2015. Webber's estimated net worth today is $10 million.
Nico Hülkenberg - $10 Million
The Popular "Hulk" is probably the best Formula 1 driver to never win a race or be at the podium. Nico Hülkenberg had 179 racing starts, racing for Williams, Force India, Sauber, and Renault. Interestingly, he won his only pole position as a reserve driver for Racing Point in 2020, showing his huge potential if put in a competitive car.
Hülkenberg doesn't have a seat in Formula 1 in 2021, which is a shame for a driver of his quality. However, a chance might appear once the rules change in 2022. Nico's estimated net worth is $10 million.