Max Verstappen Stands in a League of His Own Holding $60 Million Pay-cheque Over Teammate Sergio Perez

Published 11/24/2022, 12:15 PM EST
Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 23, 2022 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez during the drivers’ parade ahead of the race REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Red Bull is a team that prefers to prioritize one of its drivers and manage a #1 and #2 driver scenario. Though, this arrangement has benefitted them in winning 6 drivers’ and 5 constructors’ titles. But does this benefit the team dynamic between drivers? – Perhaps not. Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez have been successful as a driver pairing, but how long will Checo want to be Max’s #2? Both sportingly and financially.


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Recently, Forbes has put forth a list of the Top-10 highest-paid drivers in F1. While the numbers for drivers’ earnings in this list are estimates, it gives us a fair idea of how much particular drivers earn. It also gives an insight into the pay difference between teammates.


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How much money do F1 drivers pocket?

When we consider the Red Bull pair of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, there is an obvious difference seen in the salary numbers for both. Max Verstappen is the highest-earning driver on the grid with his estimated total earnings of $60 million. This includes a $40m salary and $20m worth of bonuses.

Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 22, 2022 First placed Max Verstappen of Red Bull and second placed Sergio Perez of Red Bull celebrate on the podium after the race REUTERS/Albert Gea

Meanwhile, Red Bull’s 2nd driver Sergio Perez earns a combined $26 million. They split his estimated earnings up as a $10m salary and $16m worth of bonuses. These numbers clearly reflect Red Bull’s preference for its golden boy Max. Though it can be justified as the Dutchman has won 2 consecutive world championships and won 25 races over 2 seasons.


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Nonetheless, Checo is the 4th highest-paid driver as per the Forbes list. The Mexican stands behind his teammate, Lewis Hamilton, and Fernando Alonso. Perez has won 3 races with the Austrian team and achieved multiple podiums in his 2 seasons. Though, with a new 2-year contract already signed until 2024, we doubt if Checo will ask for a hike in the immediate future.

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Red Bull had a nightmare of a race at Interlagos. Not only did both cars finish outside the Top-5, but the two drivers also had a fiasco for positions. Verstappen denied Perez a chance to pass him to 6th place for gaining 2 points on his rival Charles Leclerc. Sergio was involved in a close fight with Charles for P2 in the championship.

Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 29, 2022 Red Bull’s Sergio Perez celebrates with sparkling wine on the podium after winning the race alongside third placed Red Bull’s Max Verstappen REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

This incident surely heated things between the Red Bull teammates. Although after things cooled off, the team released a statement analyzing the events and assured that Max and Checo will work together in the future.

Now, it may seem plausible to hear that Perez is fine with how things are. A few more races and similar scenarios in 2023 will tell us if everything is fine at Red Bull or not.


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Meanwhile, the latest variable added to this teammate dynamic at Red Bull is Daniel Ricciardo. Many people are speculating on social media that Ricciardo may end up being teammates with Verstappen again. The reasoning for this potential change is if things fall out between Max and Checo, the Mexican may leave Milton Keynes.


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As things stand, Red Bull has wrapped up a dominant 2022 season and everything seems alright between their drivers. And they have confirmed Ricciardo as a third driver in a reserve role. What do you think? Are we going to see another Red Bull driver switch drama?



Aishwary Gaonkar

107 articles

Aishwary Gaonkar is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. Having completed his postgrad, he has set out to venture into the world of Sports Journalism. He is an ardent fan of F1 and has been following the most prestigious form of motor racing for over a decade now.

Edited By: Akash Pandhare