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Top 10 Highest Paid F1 Drivers In 2021

Max Verstappen


Despite the various cost controls introduced in Formula One in recent years, the drivers themselves continue to rake in the big bucks, and the sport’s ten-highest paid stars are projected to earn a combined $211 million in 2021.

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Lewis Hamilton once again leads the way and is expected to bring home $62M in 2021, which includes a $55M base salary and $7M in projected bonuses for race wins throughout the season. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen is next on the list and is expected to earn $42M in 2021. The Dutchman has a base salary of $25M but is projected to win the 2021 F1 Championship and earn $17M through the various bonuses from his Championship victory. 

Here are Formula 1’s ten highest-paid drivers for 2021:



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A post shared by Carlos Sainz (@carlossainz55)

Carlos Sainz was chosen as Sebastian Vettel’s successor at Ferrari and the Spaniard has had a promising opening six months with the Prancing Horse. The son of a former rally racing champion, Sainz is currently P7 in the driver’s championship and finished 2nd at Monaco to earn Ferrari’s first podium of the season.



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A post shared by Lando Norris (@landonorris)

Lando Norris signed a long-term contract extension with McLaren in May and has continued to impress in his third season in Formula One. The 21-year-old has already secured three podium positions this year and is third in the drivers’ championship, ahead of the likes of Bottas and Perez.



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A post shared by Daniel Ricciardo (@danielricciardo)

Daniel Ricciardo has had a difficult debut season with McLaren since his move from Renault in 2020 and has struggled to adapt his driving style to the new car. Nevertheless, the Australian has finished in the points in all but two races so far this season and is known to be one of the best overtakers on the grid.



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A post shared by Valtteri Bottas (@valtteribottas)

Tied in 2nd position alongside Daniel Ricciardo is Valtteri Bottas. The Finnish driver has been with the Silver Arrows for five seasons now but is likely to be replaced by Mercedes junior driver George Russell next season after a string of disappointing performances. 



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A post shared by Charles Leclerc (@charles_leclerc)

Ferrari’s poster boy Charles Leclerc is estimated to earn $12M in 2021 and has continued to perform for Ferrari despite not having the most competitive car on the track. Leclerc has already secured two poles this season at Monaco and Baku and earned his first podium of the season at the recently concluded British Grand Prix.



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A post shared by Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team (@astonmartinf1)

Following a difficult final season with Ferrari, Sebastian Vettel signed with Aston Martin in 2021 to replace Sergio Perez. Although Vettel secured Aston Martin’s first-ever podium at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the four-time world champion has had only three points finishes so far this season and has failed to live up to his high standards.



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A post shared by Checo Pérez (@schecoperez)

Sergio Perez replaced Alexander Albon at Red Bull for the start of the 2021 season, and the Mexican has enjoyed a promising start with the team from Milton Keynes. Perez won his first race with Red Bull at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, and his consistent performances have helped the team secure P1 in the constructor’s championship halfway through the season.



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A post shared by Fernando Alonso (@fernandoalo_oficial)

Fernando Alonso returned to Formula One in 2021 with Alpine after two years away from the sport. The two-time world champion had a tricky start on his return to the team but has continued to improve as the season wears on, finishing in the top 10 in each of his last five races.



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A post shared by Max Verstappen (@maxverstappen1)

Max Verstappen has been tipped as a future world champion since he arrived on the Formula One grid in 2015 and the Dutchman reached a new level in 2021 with five race wins in the first 10 rounds of the season. Despite his controversial clash with Lewis Hamilton at the British Grand Prix, Verstappen still holds a slender lead in the driver’s championship and his on-track performances have bumped him up to number two in the list of highest-paid drivers in Formula 1.



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A post shared by Lewis Hamilton (@lewishamilton)

Leading the pack as the highest-paid driver in Formula 1 as he has done since 2014 is British driver Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton has won the World Championship in each of the past four seasons and equalled Michael Schumacher’s record of 7 world titles in 2020. Hamilton is the biggest star attraction in motorsport, and the 36-year-old recently signed a new 2-year extension with Mercedes that keeps him with the team till at least the end of 2023.


[Image Credit: Max Verstappen]