Lewis Hamilton has not only fallen behind Max Verstappen on the track over the last couple of years, he is now trailing his great rival in the money race too.
Verstappen controversially pipped Hamilton to the 2021 title last year following a titanic championship battle. The Dutchman has had it much easier in 2022, romping to the crown with four races to spare while Hamilton didn’t manage a single win for the first time in his F1 career.
While Hamilton has no intention of retiring any time soon and firmly believes he has a record-breaking eighth title left in him, Verstappen is the undisputed top dog at present.
READ MORE: Lewis Hamilton ready to ‘call a sickie’ to avoid driving 2022 Mercedes again
And that is underlined by his earnings which have reportedly soared above those of the British hero. According to Forbes’ Athlete Rankings, Verstappen is F1’s highest paid driver for 2022 with a pre-tax total of $60million (£51million).
That means, for the first time since 2013, Hamilton is not top of the annual money list. However, the seven-time world champion still hasn’t done too bad for himself in 2022, earning an estimated $55million (£46.5million).
Fernando Alonso, the previous driver to head Hamilton on the list, is the year’s third top earner with $30million (£25.4million). The Spaniard, who will switch from Alpine to Aston Martin for 2023, is followed by Sergio Perez ($26 million) and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc ($23 million).
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According to Forbes, F1’s 10 highest-paid drivers collected an estimated $264million (£223.6million), a 25 per cent increase on 2021.
However, the actual earnings of the likes of Verstappen and Hamilton will be higher as endorsements are excluded from the list. Forbes says that is “in part because Formula 1 offers few marketing opportunities relative to, say, tennis or the NBA”.
It adds that few drivers earn more than $1million in outside deals. Hamilton is estimated to have earned $8million (£6.78million) in endorsements with Verstappen picking a comparatively modest $2million (£1.69million).
F1’s highest paid drivers in 2022 (according to Forbes)
Salary: £33.8m Bonus: £17m
Salary: £46.5m Bonus: £0
Salary: £25.4m Bonus: £0
Salary: £8.5m Bonus: £13.6m
Salary: £10.2m Bonus: £9.3m
Salary: £12.7m Bonus: £1.7m
Salary: £12.7 Bonus: £1.7m
Salary: £6.8m Bonus: £6m
Salary: £4.2m Bonus: £5.1m
Salary: £2.5m Bonus: £5.9m
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