Formula One, also known as the Formula 1 or F1, is the top level single-seatauto racing organization authorized by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). The F1 season is held throughout the world on public roads and purpose-built tracks, and consists of a series of races known as the Grands Prix. The results of each race are analyzed on a points-based system to determine the annual World Championships, one for the drivers and one for the cars’ constructors.
Grand Prix racing began in 1906, and Europe (the traditional base of F1) today hosts about half of each year’s races. Formula 1’s high profile and popularity have had significant economic effects and job-creation since it’s beginning, and today it has created a major merchandising environment. With an annual spending totaling billions of US dollars, an increasing number of Grands Prix are being held on other continents as well. The sport’s scope has expanded significantly over the years, and has had a high volume of spectators all over the globe.
Many people think that Formula 1 drivers make easy-good money. But the truth is, driving at more than 200 miles each race, F1 is definitely a dangerous job for the drivers. That’s why these drivers are expected to make a lot of money each time they get in the car, and take home over $150 million at the end of the year. Keep reading to find out who are the 10 Formula 1 drivers receiving the biggest salary tags in 2014.
10. Romain Grosjean – Lotus – €1.5M ($2.04M USD)
Romain Grosjean made his Formula One debut in the 2009 European Grand Prix, and currently drives for the Lotus F1 Team. He won the Formula Three Euroseries in 2007 and the inaugural GP2 Asia Series in 2009. He is the 2011 GP2 Series and GP2 Asia Series champion, and as of January, 2014, is the only driver to simultaneously hold both the GP2 Series and GP2 Asia Series titles. Lotus will pay the 27-year-old Swiss driver €1.5 million in 2014. Grosjean was ranked 7th in the 2013 Formula One Drivers’ Standings.
9. Sergio Perez – Force India – €2M ($2.71M USD)
Sergio Perez is a Mexican F1 driver, currently driving for the Force India F1 Team. The 23-year-old took his first Formula One podium at the 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix. Nicknamed “The Mexican Wunderkind”, he had joined McLaren for the 2013 season before Force India signed him in a €15 million deal last December. Perez was ranked 11th in the 2013 Formula One Drivers’ Standings. Force India will pay him €2 million in 2014, making him one of the highest-paid drivers this year despite his relatively young age.
8. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – €2.5M ($3.39M USD)
Daniel Ricciardo is an Australian racing driver in the Formula 1, currently driving for Red Bull. He made his F1 debut at the 2011 British Grand Prix. He had won the British Formula Three Championship in 2009 and was ranked 14th in the 2013 Formula One Drivers’ Standings. After Mark Webber announced his retirement, Ricciardo was confirmed as his replacement at Red Bull for 2014. The 24-year-old will partner the current world champion, Sebastian Vettel, and will be paid €2.5 million this year.
7. Felipe Massa – Williams – €4M ($5.43M USD)
Felipe Massa started his Formula 1 career with Sauber before joining Ferrari where he won 2 races in 2006 including the Brazilian Grand Prix. His home Grand Prix win that year made him the first Brazilian since Ayrton Senna to win it. Massa left Ferrari at the end of the 2013 season, and joined Williams. He was ranked 8th in the 2013 Formula One Drivers’ Standings. The 32-year-old will race alongside Valtteri Bottas in 2014, and will be paid €4 million.
6. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – €10M ($13.57M USD)
Kimi Raikkonen is a Finnish Formula One racing driver, currently driving for Ferrari. He had switched to Ferrari in 2007, and was the highest-paid driver in motor sport at that time. He won the Formula One World Drivers’ Championship in 2007, finishing ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso by a single point. The 34-year-old won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2012. Raikkonen was ranked 5th in the 2013 Formula One Drivers’ Standings. Ferrari will pay him €10 million in 2014.
5. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes – €11M ($14.93M USD)
Nico Erik Rosberg is a German Formula 1 racing driver for the Mercedes team. He had previously won the 2005 GP2 Series with the ART team and made his Formula 1 debut at the 2006 Bahrain Grand Prix. He joined Mercedes in 2009, and was the team-mate of Michael Schumacher at that time. Rosberg has enjoyed the most successful period of his career with Mercedes, winning 3 Grands Prix and earning 4 pole positions. He was ranked 6th in the 2013 Formula One Drivers’ Standings. The 28-year-old will be paid €11 million in 2014.
4. Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull – €16M ($21.71M USD)
Sebastian Vettel is the youngest driver in Formula 1 to secure a pole position, to lead a race and to win a race. The 26-year-old German currently drives for the Austrian racing team, Red Bull. Vettel is regarded as one of the most successful F1 drivers of all time, with 4 Drivers’ Championship, 45 pole positions and 22 fastest laps under his belt. He won the Formula One World Drivers’ Championship in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Vettel was ranked 1st in the 2013 Formula One Drivers’ Championship. His annual salary for the 2014 season is €16 million.
3. Jenson Button – McLaren – €16M ($21.71M USD)
Jenson Button is a British F1 driver form England racing for the McLaren team. The 34-year-old made his Formula 1 debut at the 2000 Australian Grand Prix. Driving for Brawn GP, he won the 2009 Formula One World Drivers’ Championship. He also won the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix and the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix. Out of the 247 races Button has started, he has won 15 with a total of 49 podium finishes, 8 pole positions and 8 fastest laps. He was ranked 9th in the 2013 Formula One Drivers’ Championship and is currently the third highest-paid driver in the Formula One. He will be paid €16 million in the 2014 season, his 15th as an F! driver so far.
2. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – €20M ($27.14M USD)
Lewis Hamilton is the youngest driver in Formula 1 to have ever won the World Championship. He claimed the Formula One World Drivers’ Championship in 2008 after losing the 2007 World Championship to Kimi Raikkonen by a single point. The 29-year-old made his Formula One debut at the 2007 Australian Grand Prix and won the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix and the 2013 Hungarian Grand Prix. Out of the 129 races Hamilton has started, he has won 22 with a total of 54 podium finishes, 31 pole positions and 13 fastest laps. He was ranked 4th in the 2013 Formula One Drivers’ Championship, and will be paid €20 million in the 2014 season.
1. Fernando Alonso – Ferrari – €20M ($27.14M USD)
Fernando Alonso is a Spanish Formula One racing driver for the Ferrari team. He won the Formula One World Drivers’ Championship in 2005 and 2006. The 32-year-old made his Formula One debut at the 2001 Australian Grand Prix. Out of the 216 races Alonso has started, he has won 32 with a total of 95 podium finishes, 22 pole positions and 21 fastest laps. He was ranked second in the 2013 Formula One Drivers’ Championship and is currently the highest-paid driver in the Formula one, with a paycheck of €20 million in the 2014 season.