2021 F1 driver salaries: Prime earner Hamilton takes pay lower · RaceFans

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The worth of Lewis Hamilton’s subsequent contract with Mercedes – and whether or not he would preserve his place on prime of the F1 drivers’ wage listing – was a matter of hypothesis all through final season.

Early within the season it turned clear Hamilton was on the right track to attain a record-equalling seventh Components 1 championship success, which might additional increase his already sky-high market worth. Though Hamilton performed down the significance of his wage in discussions over his new deal, reviews claimed F1’s highest-earning driver was in search of an extra pay rise.

Hamilton was considered on round $40 million (£29.08m) per 12 months beneath his earlier deal – properly over $2 million per race final 12 months when the pandemic shortened the schedule from 22 races to 17. Stories elsewhere he was in search of as a lot as $50 million for 2021 prompted a dismissive response from Hamilton on social media.

Hamilton’s new deal was lastly introduced in February, having been held up as first he after which Mercedes CEO Toto Wolff contracted Covid-19. Given the restricted time left to agree a deal, he solely agreed a one-year extension, and RaceFans understands he accepted a discount in his payment to $30 million. This lower of round $1 million per race is opposite to reviews elsewhere, although as within the case of all drivers there can be a bonus package deal related to it.

He isn’t the one a number of champion whose wage has fallen this 12 months. Aston Martin is believed to be paying Sebastian Vettel half what he earned in his last season at Ferrari. Vettel and staff mate Lance Stroll are understood to be paid straight by the producer, moderately than the staff.

Evaluation: How Hamilton turns into Britain’s richest sportsperson of all time

Fernando Alonso will financial institution greater than Vettel on his return to F1 with Alpine. He’s considered F1’s third-highest-earning driver, behind Hamilton and Max Verstappen.

However the days of such sky-high salaries could also be numbered. F1 groups need to function inside a funds cap for the primary time this 12 months, and although it does but not cowl funds to drivers, that will change sooner or later.

Final 12 months Hamilton admitted he didn’t really feel comfy negotiating a “huge contract” whereas so many individuals have been shedding their jobs because of the pandemic. And having already surpassed footballer David Beckham as Britain’s highest-earning sportsperson of all time, Hamilton is arguably ready the place he can afford to take much less.

That may make a robust case for anybody arguing that the time has come to place a cap on how a lot cash F1 drivers earn.

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RaceFans’ 2021 Components 1 driver wage estimates

Observe: All drivers on primary packages with particular person bonuses

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