Michael Schumacher remains one of the most recognizable drivers in Formula 1 and he also happens to be one of the richest. The German won four world championships with Red Bull and Ferrari and has a net worth of around 140 million dollars.
1. Lewis Hamilton
A Grenadian-born Englishman, Lewis Hamilton’s road to F1 superstardom began with a passion for remote controlled cars. By age six he had won club championships against adults and his father Anthony wondered whether his talents would translate to full-size motorsport. In 2003 Hamilton won the Formula Renault championship. The following year he won the GP2 Euroseries and in 2006 he moved to the pinnacle of motorsport with McLaren.
He quickly won the driving world title, beating Ferrari’s dispirited Sebastian Vettel in a season of near-perfection. His winning ways endeared him to his millions of social media followers who he kept up-to-date with news from behind the wheel.
Away from the track, he is a passionate supporter of a number of causes including LGBT rights and anti-racism, frequently taking to the social media stage to highlight these issues. He also has a special connection to his brother Nicolas who suffers from cerebral palsy and is an active racer in the British Touring Car Championship. The youthful and good-looking Hamilton has built a wealth of endorsement deals with the likes of L’Oreal, Monster Energy, Santander and Reebok.
2. Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso is one of the most experienced and successful F1 drivers to date. The 41-year-old Spaniard has earned double world championships and has also won two Le Mans. He currently competes for Alpine, and his latest season has been impressive. His bank account reflects his success on the track, with a net worth of $261 million.
Alonso grew up in Oviedo, Asturias, Spain and started go-karting at the age of three. He climbed up the ranks of motorsports, winning local and national championships. He began racing in Formula 3000 in 1999, and then moved to Formula 1 in 2001 with Minardi.
During the early 2000s, Alonso was considered to be the most complete driver of his generation, able to challenge Michael Schumacher for wins and podiums. In 2005, he won the title, making him the youngest F1 champion at 24 years old. Alonso is a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF and has supported various charitable causes including the Sightsavers International Foundation, which supports irreversibly blind people. He has also conducted a virtual Fernando Alonso Liberbank Foundation Race to raise money for food banks in Spain.
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3. Sebastian Vettel
The German racer tries to keep away from the spotlight and the prying eyes of media but still manages to make huge amounts through prize money, salary, and endorsement deals. He has a collection of luxury cars including Ferraris and owns a medieval-style farmhouse worth around $5 million. He also endorses brands like Casio, Infiniti and Pepe Jeans.
4. Jenson Button
The son of a rally cross racer, Button got his first taste of F1 in 2000 when he joined Williams as the youngest British driver to start a Formula 1 season. He became a firm favourite with the team and finished fifth in his rookie season.
Despite the low points in his career – he sat out several races due to poor reliability from his Honda engine – he managed to secure a few wins. He returned to the team in 2014 and figured among the point scorers four times but struggled with an unreliable car.
With a fortune that rivals the GDP of a small nation and a string of palatial homes, Button is one of F1’s richest retired drivers. In addition to his racing exploits he has also ventured into the world of television and is now part of the BBC’s sports pundit roster. He was also crowned champion in the Japanese Super GT series in 2018 alongside Naoki Yamamoto. He has now retired from racing but still conducts ambassadorial work for the Williams team.
5. Kimi Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen is the fifth richest F1 driver of all time with a fortune estimated at around $220 million according to Celebrity Net Worth. The Iceman is one of the most successful drivers in history with 21 race wins and a world title to his name.
He returned to Ferrari for a second spell in 2014 but struggled to match the success of his first time with the tifosi-clad team. Despite that, he still has 18 pole positions and 103 podium finishes to his name. Now at the age of 41, he is on an $17.5 million salary with Alfa Romeo and looks set to continue his career into 2021 and beyond.