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The Formula One season came to an end in controversial fashion on Sunday, as Max Verstappen pipped Lewis Hamilton to the world title at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Red Bull’s Verstappen took advantage of some questionable calls from the race officials to overtake Hamilton on the final lap at the Yas Marina circuit – denying the Mercedes driver a record-breaking eighth World Drivers’ Championship.
Despite that disappointment, Hamilton rightfully remains viewed as one of the greatest drivers in Formula One history – but where does he rank in terms of earnings?
Here are the top 10 richest Formula One drivers, according to The Mirror.
10) Sebastian Vettel
Vettel is believed to have earned £76.5m over the course of his career. The German, who still holds the record for being the youngest world champion in Formula One history, is now at Aston Martin, having previously raced for BMW Sauber, Toro Rosso, Red Bull and Ferrari. Vettel won four successive world titles at Red Bull between 2010 and 2013, and has now raced in Formula One for more than 10 years.
9) Jody Scheckter
The only African driver to have ever won the Formula One world title, Scheckter is thought to be worth around £75.6m – with the bulk of the South African’s earnings coming after his retirement from racing. Scheckter raced in Formula One between 1972 and 1980, winning the world title with Ferrari in 1979. He would later move into business, selling a high-tech security firm he founded in the United States before setting up an organic farming company in England.
8) Martin Brundle
One of the voices of Formula One, Sky Sports co-commentator Brudle is thought to be worth around £75.6m – largely thanks his post-racing career. Brundle raced in the sport between 1992 and 1996, finishing on the podium nine times. He would later move into broadcasting with ITV before joining the BBC and later Sky Sports.
7) Mario Andretti
One of only two Americans to win Formula One, IndyCar, NASCAR and the World Sportscar Championship, Andretti is thought to have a net worth of £90.7m. The Italian-born American won his only Formula One world title in 1978 while with Lotus.
6) Eddie Irvine
Former Jordan, Ferrari and Jaguar driver Eddie Irvine is sixth on the list, with an estimated net worth of around £90.7m. Irvine raced in Formula One between 1993 and 2002, and came close to winning the world title in 1999 – eventually finishing second behind Mika Hakkinen.
5) Jenson Button
Another British driver on the list, Button is thought to be worth around £113.4m. He began his Formula One career with Williams in 2000 and would go on to race in the sport for 17 years, later joining Benetton, Renault, BAR, Honda, Brawn and McLaren. The highlight of his racing career would come in 2009 when he won his only world title while at Brawn. After calling time on his Formula One career in 2017, Button has since made a successful transition into broadcasting with Sky Sports.
4) Kimi Raikkonen
One of Formula One’s most unique characters, Raikkonen bowed out of the sport last weekend at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Nicknamed ‘The Iceman’ due to his frosty demeanour and calmness under pressure, Raikkonen is believed to be worth around £113.4m after racing in Formula One for 17 years. He won his only Formula One with Ferrari title back in 2007, when he pipped Hamilton by a single point.
3) Fernando Alonso
A two-time Formula One world champion, Alonso is considered one of the greatest drivers in history and has now racked up estimated earnings of £181.5m during his career. The Spaniard began in Formula One with Minardi in 2001 before moving to Renault, where he ended Michael Schumacher’s dominance of the sport. He would later join Mercedes, Ferrari, Honda and McLaren before returning to the sport with Alpine in 2021.
2) Lewis Hamilton
One of the most recognisable figures in sport, Hamilton is said to have amassed a huge personal fortune of £215.5m. The British driver burst onto the scene with McLaren in 2007 – finishing second in the standings before winning his maiden world title the following season. He is now level with Schumacher on seven world titles after a dominant spell with Mercedes. Hamilton has a number of highly lucrative sponsorship deals and is thought to earn a whopping £41.5m a season. And to top it all off, he is set to receive a knighthood on Wednesday after being named in the Queen’s New Year Honours.
1) Michael Schumacher
Was it ever in doubt? Ferrari legend Schumacher is top of the pile and is said to have an astonishing net worth of £604.9m – nearly triple that of his nearest rival Hamilton. The German is the joint-most successful driver in Formula One history with seven world titles, winning five of them in consecutive seasons between 2000 and 2004. The former Jordan and Benetton driver retired from Formula One in 2012 after a brief return to the sport with Mercedes, and has not been seen in public for a number of years after a serious skiing accident in 2013. However, the Schumacher family remains an integral part of Formula One with Michael’s son, Mick, now racing for Haas.
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