F1 Salaries: The Highest Paid Formula 1 Drivers 2023

There's some serious money to be made on the Formula 1 grid.

F1 Salaries: The Highest Paid Formula 1 Drivers 2023

Lewis Hamilton’s bumper new Mercedes contract puts him as the joint highest earner on the Formula 1 grid for 2023, but which of the other drivers make up the rest of the list?

With the recent boom from the global success of Netflix’s Drive to Survive, interest in Formula 1 has grown exponentially as more and more fans from around the world have discovered a new passion for racing. It’s led to record-breaking viewership and attendance across the 2023 season, as the world’s premier motorsport engages a new generation of revheads – and that means big business.

The 20 drivers that make up the Formula 1 grid are some of the fastest men alive, cruising through chicanes at 260 km/h to the raucous applause of the crowd.

With only ten racing teams allowed to field two drivers each season, securing a Formula 1 seat is one of the most coveted and exclusive contracts in sport. The inherent exclusivity of F1 seats is reflected in the astronomical fees they command, with drivers securing head-spinning multi-million dollar deals for their unique talents.

Here we look at the Top 6 highest-paid drivers on the Formula 1 grid.

Max Verstappen

Image: Getty

Team Red Bull
Salary $63 million USD (~$97 million AUD)

It’s no surprise that Max Verstappen sits proudly at the top of our list. Under the guidance of his father, former racing driver Jos Verstappen, the young Dutch driver emerged as a generational talent.

In 2016, Verstappen became the youngest Formula 1 Grand Prix winner in history during his Red Bull debut as he won the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, aged just 18.

Since then, Max Verstappen has matured into one of the finest drivers the sport has ever seen. Resolute, and focused, Verstappen has dominated the opposition for the best part of three years, claiming two consecutive World Championships and breaking decades-old records with each passing race.

For Red Bull, Verstappen’s salary is worth every penny.

Lewis Hamilton

Image: Reuters

Team Mercedes
Salary $63 million USD (~$97 million AUD)

Battling Max Verstappen for the top spot – in more ways than one – Formula 1’s most decorated driver in history Lewis Hamilton comes in second on our list. Following the news that the Mercedes driver has agreed to an improved contract, reports suggest Lewis Hamilton’s salary is now $63 million USD (~$97 million AUD) per year.

The seven-time World Champion shares the record for most titles with legendary driver Michael Schumacher and has enjoyed one of the most prolific eras in Formula 1 history.

Since making the switch to Mercedes in 2013, Hamilton, together with Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff, secured six Drivers’ World Championships and eight consecutive Constructors’ Championships for his team.

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Charles Leclerc

Image: Shutterstock

Team Ferrari
Salary $24 million USD (~$37 million AUD)

Rounding out pole position is the young Charles Leclerc, Ferrari’s exciting Monégasque driver, who takes home a cool $24 million USD (~$37 million AUD) a year driving for the Italian racing team.

As Verstappen and Hamilton continue to dominate the grid, Leclerc’s raw speed positions him as one of the best of the rest. Since joining Ferrari in 2019, Leclerc has become Ferrari’s youngest-ever Grand Prix winner, securing victory at the 2019 Belgian Grand Prix ahead of the omnipotent Lewis Hamilton.

At the start of the 2021 F1 season, Leclerc extended his contract with Ferrari until the end of 2024, starting alongside current teammate Carlos Sainz for the first time. Leclerc ended the 2022 season with three Grand Prix victories, winning in Bahrain and Austria, as well as securing victory in Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix.

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Lando Norris

Image: Getty

Team McLaren
Salary $20 million USD (~$31 million AUD)

Lando Norris is one of Formula 1’s most exciting young drivers and has been tipped for future World Championships since signing with McLaren’s academy in 2017, aged just 17.

After five seasons in Formula 1, Norris has matured into a top driver, securing eight podium finishes with McLaren since 2019, and sits as the fourth highest-paid driver on the grid for 2023.

Unfortunately for Norris, McLaren has felt like a team in transition since he arrived, with a high turnaround of drivers racing alongside him since making his F1 debut.

The British driver is yet to win his maiden Formula 1 Grand Prix but has shown consistent form this season, earning back-to-back podium finishes for the first time in addition to a career-high finish of P2 at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Carlos Sainz Jr.

Image: AP

Team Ferrari
Salary $12 million USD (~$18 million AUD)

Son of Spanish racing royalty, Carlos Sainz Jr. brings his father’s signature pace and precision to the asphalt of the Formula 1 track. Following a mixed career with Toro Rosso and McLaren, Sainz signed with Ferrari in 2021, partnering with a young Charles Leclerc.

Here, Sainz has gone from strength to strength, winning his first Formula 1 Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2022, defending expertly against two of the more experienced drivers on the grid, Sergio Pérez and Lewis Hamilton.

Still winless in 2023, Sainz is yet to sign an extension with Scuderia Ferrari on his $12 million USD (~$18 million AUD) contract, leaving fans to wonder if he may move on once more.

Sergio Pérez

Image: Getty

Team Red Bull
Salary $10 million USD (~$15 million AUD)

One of the older drivers on the Formula 1 grid, Sergio “Checo” Pérez is the definition of a late-bloomer, finding more success in the latter stages of his F1 career with Red Bull.

The Mexican driver has the unwanted record of the most race entries (190) without a single race win, before winning his maiden Formula 1 Grand Prix with Racing Point in 2020.

Since then, Checo has gone on to win a further five races, to become one of the more decorated drivers still on the grid with six Formula 1 Grand Prix victories throughout his career.

Pérez joined Red Bull in 2021 to partner with Max Verstappen, signing a contract worth $10 million USD (~$15 million AUD) a year, that runs until 2024.

Valtteri Bottas

Image: Getty

Team Alfa Romeo
Salary $10 million USD (~$15 million AUD )

Valtteri Bottas had an impressive five-year run with Mercedes as he finished in the Top 5 in Drivers’ standings from 2017 to 2021, including back-to-back runner-up finishes in 2019 and 2020. But being in Mercedes meant he had to race in Lewis Hamilton’s shadow. In 2021, Bottas signed a multi-year deal worth $10 million USD ( ~$15 million AUD ) per annum to become the leader of Alfa Romeo. 

Bottas began his Alfa Romeo stint on a high note with six-point finishes in his first seven starts. However, it has been a struggle since then as the Fin has recorded only six Top 10 finishes in his last 29 races. This year, Bottas has picked up points in only three out of the first four completed races.

Despite his late-season struggles in 2022, Bottas helped Alfa Romeo finish 6th in the Constructors’ Championship race, their best finish since the start of its partnership with Sauber.

George Russell

Image: Getty

Team Mercedes
Salary $8 million USD (~$12 million AUD)

Mercedes promoted George Russell after an impressive stand-in for Lewis Hamilton in the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix. In that race, Russell led most of the way until a bungled pit stop with 20 laps left cost him the race. Despite finishing 9th, Mercedes knew he was their future.

Two seasons later, the Silver Arrows signed Russell to replace Valtteri Bottas. He rewarded them with 15 Top 5 finishes in his first 16 races. Then after securing his first pole position at the Hungarian Grand Prix, Russell claimed his maiden win at Interlagos.

Russell finished 4th in the Drivers Standings at the end of the championship and became the third teammate to outscore Lewis Hamilton in an entire season.

After a promising maiden season, Mercedes announced that they are extending Russell’s deal until 2025 which gives his contract the same expiry as Lewis Hamilton’s. It’s unclear however if he will be getting an increase from his current $8 million USD (~$12 million AUD) salary.

Esteban Ocon

Image: Getty

Team Alpine
Salary $6 million USD (~$9 million AUD)

Esteban Ocon is only 26 years old yet the Frenchman has been racing in Formula One since 2016, when he replaced Indonesian driver Rio Haryanto at the Manor Racing team. After serving as Mercedes reserve driver in 2019, Ocon signed with Renault which rebranded to Alpine in 2021.

He picked up his maiden win at the Hungaroring in 2021 after taking advantage of a multi-car collision. That year, he also signed a multi-year extension worth $6 million USD (~$9 million AUD ) per annum to remain with Alpine. 

Ocon had his best year in 2022 as he scored points in all but six races. Although he did not finish better than 4th place in any race, the Frenchman matched his best season ever as he placed 8th in the final Drivers Standing. Ocon also outscored his teammate and former World Champion Fernando Alonso by 92 points to 81 last season, marking the first time that he’s scored more championship points than his teammate.

Pierre Gasly

Image: Getty

Team Alpine
Salary $5 million USD (~$7.5 million AUD)

When Fernando Alonso decided to make the move to Aston Martin after the 2022 F1 championship, Alpine lured Pierre Gasly to its fold via a $5 million USD (~$7.5 million AUD) per year deal, thereby creating an all-French driver line-up with Esteban Ocon.

Gasly is coming off a down 2022 campaign he finished 15th in the Drivers Standings. Prior to that, he recorded three straight Top 10 finishes. While driving for Alpha Tauri, he registered his and the team’s first win in the 2020 Italian Grand Prix. Gasly would deliver a second podium finish at Baku in 2021.

So far, Gasly has produced seven Top 10 finishes in the first 13 races of 2023. This includes a podium finish at the 2023 Dutch Grand Prix where he came in third behind Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso.

Kevin Magnussen

Image: Getty

Team Haas
Salary $5 million USD (~$7.5 million AUD)

Kevin Magnussen is the son of former F1 driver and four-time Le Mans winner Jan Magnussen. The 30-year-old from Roskilde, Denmark is a product of McLaren’s Young Driver Programme and drove for the team in 2014. 

In his first race for McLaren, Magnussen became the first Danish driver to earn a podium finish and the first debutante since Lewis Hamilton in 2007 to take the podium in his first Grand Prix.

He moved to Renault in 2016 and drove for Haas from 2017 to 2020. Last year, Haas terminated the contract of Nikita Mazepin and recalled Magnussen on a 5 million USD ( ~7.5 million ) salary. Last month, Haas announced that it will retain Magnussen and partner Niko Hulkenberg for the 2024 season.

Fernando Alonso

Image: XPBCC

Team Aston Martin
Salary $5 million USD (~$7.5 million AUD) 

The oldest driver in the 2023 Formula One World Championship is Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard is one of three current drivers to have won the Drivers Championship, doing so in 2005 and 2006 when he drove for Renault.

At that time, he was the youngest race winner, youngest world champion, and youngest back-to-back world champion.

The 42-year-old Alonso has won a total of 32 F1 races, 7th most all-time. However, he has not won since taking the chequered flag at home in the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix. 

After leaving the F1 grid for endurance racing and the IndyCar Series, he returned in 2021, racing for Alpine. In August 2022, he signed a multi–year deal with Aston Martin which pays him $5 million USD (~$7.5 million AUD) per year.

Alex Albon

Image: Top Gear

Team Williams
Salary $3 million USD (~$4.5 million AUD)

A product of the Red Bull Junior Team, Alexander Albon made his Formula One debut for Toro Rosso in 2019. After twelve starts, he was promoted to Red Bull Racing as Max Verstappen’s partner. At the 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix, he became the first Thai to record an F1 podium finish.

Despite back-to-back Top 8 finishes in the Drivers Championship, Albon was demoted to test driver in 2021 to make way for Verstappen’s current partner Checo Perez. Albon made his comeback last year as George Russell’s replacement at Williams. 

Although the British-Thai driver ranked 19th in the Drivers Standings last season, Williams signed Albon to a multi-year extension worth $3 million USD (~$4.5 million AUD) per year.

Zhou Guanyu

Image: F1

Team Alfa Romeo
Salary $2 million USD (~$3 million AUD)

Zhou Guanyu was the second driver from Mainland China to participate in race weekend when he drove the Alpine A521 during the first practice session of the 2021 Austrian Grand Prix. But the Shanghai native wasn’t content with that distinction.

After winning the Asian F3 championship last year, he got the call from Alfa Romeo to partner Valtteri Bottas during the 2022 season and become the first driver from China to compete in the F1 World Championship. He returned to Alfa Romeo this season on a $2 million USD (~$3 million AUD) salary.

Currently, Zhou has two Top 10 finishes after 14 rounds after just picking up 3-point finishes during the entire 2022 campaign.

Lance Stroll

Image: F1

Team Aston Martin
Salary $2 million (~$3 million AUD)

There were reports that Lawrence Stroll spent $80 million to ensure that his son got an F1 seat and became the first Canadian F1 driver since former world champion Jacques Villeneuve. But Lance Stroll quickly proved that he belonged to Formula One. 

At the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Lance became the second-youngest driver to record a podium finish and was the youngest to do so during his maiden campaign. When the season was over, Stroll finished a decent 12th in the Drivers Standings.

He joined Racing Point in 2020 after his father joined a group that acquired the team. Stroll produced two podium finishes that year and earned a career-best 75 points at the end of the championship. Earlier this month, the team announced that Stroll will return next year on a $2 million USD (~$3 million AUD) contract.

Nico Hulkenberg

Image: XPB Images

Team Haas
Salary $2 million USD (~$3 million AUD)

Since joining Formula 1 in 2010, Nico Hulkenberg has secured 530 championship points which isn’t a small achievement. However, the 36-year-old German currently holds the unwanted record for most points earned without a podium finish and most points earned without a win.

He came close in the Spa in 2016 finishing P4, but since then, he’s only had two Top 5 finishes as his best results. The German drove for Renault from 2017 to 2019, producing a career-best 7th-place finish in 2018.

Hulkenberg spent the previous three years without a full-time seat but was back last season alongside Kevin Magnussen at Haas. The pair was recently retained to return in 2024 with Hulkenberg set to earn $2 million USD (~$3 million AUD).

Oscar Piastri

Image: F1

Team McLaren
Salary $2 million USD (~$3 million AUD)

Oscar Piastri is considered one of the most promising young drivers in all of motorsport. The 22-year Melbourne-born driver was the 5th driver to win the F3 and F2 championships in consecutive seasons, doing so in 2020 and 2021. 

Piastri was such a highly touted prospect that Alpine and McLaren had a tug-of-war for his services. The dispute reached FIA’s Contract Recognition Board which eventually ruled in favour of McLaren, and signed him to a 2 million USD (~$3 million AUD) annual salary. 

So far, Piastri’s best result has been a P4 at the British Grand Prix where he finished less than a second behind 3rd place Lewis Hamilton.

Yuki Tsunoda

Image: Getty

Team Alpha Tauri
Salary $1 million USD (~$1.5 million AUD)

A graduate of Honda’s Suzuka Circuit Racing School, Yuki Tsunoda was part of the Honda Formula Dream Project in 2016. The 23-year-old finished second in the 2020 Formula 2 Championship and made his F1 debut the following year for Alpha Tauri, replacing Daniil Kvyat on a $1 million USD (~$1.5 million AUD) contract.

Tsunoda earned 32 points during his maiden season and finished 14th in the Drivers Standings. His performance dipped last year as he amassed only 12 championship points and finished 17th overall.

Logan Sargeant

Image: Williams

Team Williams
Salary $1 million USD (~$1.5 million AUD)

Logan Sargeant is the second-youngest driver in the 2023 Formula One championship at 22 years of age. He is the younger brother of former NASCAR driver Dalton Sergeant. Logan is a product of the Williams Driving Academy.

Sergeant signed a $1 million USD (~$1.5 million AUD) contract with Williams Racing to drive alongside Alex Albon and replace Nicolas Latifi. Sargeant is also the first full-time time American driver in F1.