Highest Paid Drivers of the 2021 Formula 1 Season Revealed: Is Lewis Hamilton Paid the Highest Salary at Mercedes F1?

Published 01/15/2022, 8:15 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 12, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen after the start of the race REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah


In 2021, Formula 1 introduced a revolutionary new reform – Budget Caps. This was a move that limited the amount of money a team could spend in a season in order to bridge the gap between the teams on the top of the table and those on the other side.

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But one thing the budget cap didn’t include was the drivers’ salary. This meant teams could spend as much money as they want or as the drivers wanted in form of salaries.

So let’s take a look at the top five highest-paid drivers from 2021.

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Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 12, 2021 The drivers pose for a photo before the race REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Who are the Top Five Highest Paid Formula 1 drivers?

5. Sebastian Vettel

Despite a downward spiral in terms of form in recent years, Vettel remained one of the most marketable drivers in 2021. And as a result, he earned $15 million in salary at Aston Martin.

4. Sergio Perez

If there’s a driver that knows the meaning of perseverance, then it’s Sergio Perez. After facing an uncertain future in the sport at the end of 2020, the Mexican was signed by Red Bull to strengthen their challenge to Mercedes in 2021.

And this is exactly what Perez did, and more. Although he was signed on for a salary of $5 million, projections that include bonuses from race wins and performances took up his tally to as high as $18 million in 2021.

3. Fernando Alonso

The Spaniard made his comeback this season with Alpine and didn’t take long to showcase his class and talent. Alonso was instrumental in Alpine’s mid-table hopes for a higher finish and, along with teammate Esteban Ocon, he did just that.

He took home a salary of $25 million, but bonuses coming from his podium finish in Qatar or defensive masterclass in Hungary should mean he earned more.

2. Max Verstappen

If there’s one thing Max Verstappen missed out on in 2021, it was this list. The champion and his on-track exploits this past season need no introduction. Being arguably the biggest star in F1 today, Verstappen earned a salary of $25 million.

But on top of that, it was projected he would earn double that in bonuses. This meant Max Verstappen earned at least $42 million in 2021.

1. Lewis Hamilton

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The other championship protagonist, and arguably the GOAT in F1, Lewis Hamilton, had one of the best seasons of his stellar career. And despite not winning the championship, nothing can take away from the incredible fight he put up for the entire year.

A fight that justified his salary of $55 million. And as for projected earnings, Forbes predicted Hamilton earned over $62 million in 2021.

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Which driver do you think will earn the most in 2022?

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Shaharyar Khan Chauhan

466 articles

Shaharyar is an F1 & NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Journalism from Amity University, he has been a passionate follower of motorsports for a better part of the decade. A Max Verstappen and Ferrari supporter, he dreams of a pairing of the two in future.

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