Formula One is the most competitive racing for single-seater formula racing cars. It is under the supervision and control of Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). The body started in 1904. The competitions were inaugurated on May 13, 1950, as the World Drivers' Championships (in the U.K.). The organizers renamed them FIA Formula One World Championships in 1981.
Any track hosting the race must be certified by FIA. However, some, such as the British and Singapore Grand Prix, are on public roads. The sport has gained momentum as the world continues to witness excellent drivers. FIA awards are of high monetary value, which has seen the sport produce some of the wealthiest athletes in the world. In this article, we shall discuss the world's top 10 richest Formula One Drivers in 2022.
10. Eddie Irvine ($120 million)
Eddie Irvine was born on November 10, 1965, in Newtownards, U.K. He fell in love with cars when he was ten years old, and when his parents noticed, they used to take him to watch Grand Prix races. Eddie has ridden for Jordan, Ferrari, and Jaguar teams. Different reports indicate that he has a monthly income of $1 million. Eddie started Formula One racing in 1991 and has won the majority of his races under Ferrari, where it is reported that the driver earned almost $50 million with the label. He started his career when he was 18 in 1983, and his most successful year was 1999, when he won four titles, among them the Australian and Malaysian Grand Prix. The same year he finished second in the World Championships.
9. Valentino Rossi ($140 million)
Valentino Rossi is a professional motorcycle and multiple MotoGP World Champion of Italian origin and was born at Urbino, Marche, on February 16, 1979. He has worked with Honda, Yamaha, and Ducati teams. He started in 372 races, won 89, and he has been on the podium 199 times. The driver draws a monthly income of $2 million. As a brand ambassador, he has earned a total of $50 million from endorsing several products, which include: Monster Energy, AGV helmets, Dainese, GoPro, and Oakley. Over the past decade, he has raised almost 250,000 Euros for the Riders for Health, the official charity for MotoGP.
8. Jenson Button ($150 million)
Jenson Button was born at Frome, Somerset, on January 19, 1980, and was introduced to driving by his father, John Button. Henson's first entry into Formula One was the 2000 Australian Grand Prix. He has worked with Honda, Mercedes, Renault, and BMW teams. Among his significant wins is the 2009 Formula One World Championship, and he was driving for the Brawn GP Team. In 2006 he recorded his first major win in the Hungarian Grand Prix and his last one in 2012 in the Brazilian Grand Prix.
In 2017 he recorded his last entry in racing at the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix. In 2021, Button joined Williams as a senior advisor and offered guidance to upcoming drivers in the academy. Currently competing in the Japanese SuperGTSeries as a driver for the Kunimitsu team and won a title with them in 2019. Sportskeeda reports that he has an annual salary of $16.5 million.
7. Kimi Raikkonen ($150 million)
Kimi Raikkonen was born at Espoo, Finland on 17, October 1979. He has a distinctive speaking style because of a bicycle accident he was involved in when he was young. At ten years, he was already competing in karting; by 15 years, he was competing in races in Monaco. He started his career in 2000 when he joined the Sauber Formula One team and competed in the Mugello circuit. After a year at Sauber, he signed for the McLaren team in 2002.
He won his first race with the team in 2003, and his performance has continued to be excellent. In 2007, he left the McLaren team due to car issues and signed with Ferrari. In 2011 he tried his luck with NASCAR, demonstrating outstanding ability, but he failed to get a big deal. In 2012 he signed with Lotus. He returned to Ferrari from 2014 to 2018. He is credited to be the only racing st6ar who has raced using V6, V8, and V10 hybrid engine cars. Besides performing in 349 career starts and getting 21 wins, the athlete has also invested in real estate.
6. Jeff Gordon ($200 million)
Jeff Gordon was born on August, 4th of 1971, in Vallejo, California, United States. He has earned his net worth through winnings and endorsements. The Sportskeeda reported that Jeff has an annual income of $20-$30 million. He also earns $30 million in endorsements. He endorses Gillette, Pepsi, DuPont, Sunoco, and other products. He has been sponsored by Frito-Lay, Kellogg Company, Edy's, and Ray-Ban throughout his career. He is the owner of J.G. Motorsports, and it is reported that in 1998 alone, he made sales worth $112 million. Jeff has made a total of $140 million in on-track winnings.
In 2015 he announced that it was his last season to take part without fully committing that he was retiring. However, in 2016, the athlete served as the substitute of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and even went ahead to win the 2017 Rolex 24 at Daytona. To boost his income, he has invested in other fields, such as a dealership- Jeff Gordon Chevrolet - in Wilmington, North Carolina. He partnered with Bob Lutz and opened the Jeff Gordon Racing School in 2005. He made a debut in a broadcasting career in April 2015 for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway.
5. Fernando Alonso ($240 million)
Fernando Alonso was born on July 29, 1981, at Oviedo Asturias. Out of his 98-podium show-ups, he has won 32 times and brags of 2 (young) Championships. The Celebrity Net Worth has an annual salary of $40 million. He joined vehicle competitions early, winning the Asturias and Galicia competitions in 1988 and 1089. Alonso would go on to win Junior National Championships from 1993 to 1996. Alonso made a debut in car racing when he was 17 years old. He participated in the 1999 Euro Open by Nissan and won the season's final race.
After serving alongside Minardi in 2000 and Renault in 2002, he was later promoted to their team in 2003. At the end of 2003, he won the Hungarian Grand Prix becoming the youngest Formula One driver to win the race. His best year was 2005, when he won The World Drivers' Championships over his fierce rival Kimi Raikkonen. He would later defend the title in 2006, becoming the world's youngest two-time World Champion. He has signed and worked with Alpine, Ferrari, Honda, and Renault throughout his career. He married singer Raquel del Rosario, but they divorced in 2011. He has endorsed brands such as Europcar, Silestone, Chandon, Adidas, and Liberbank. Forbes reports that he gets $1 million from endorsements.
4. Lewis Hamilton ($285 million)
Lewis Hamilton was born to Carmen and Antony on January 7, 1985, in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England. In his early life, the driver took karate and self-defense classes to defend himself against those who were bullying him. He started motor vehicle competitions at a young age, and when he was 13 years, he won the British Radio Car Association Championship. His Formula One career started in 1998 when he signed up with McLaren's young driver program.
He officially became a Formula one driver in 2007 as the first and only black racecar driver. In the same year, he finished first runner-up to Kimi Raikkonen. 2008 opened his door to the many championships he would later win. He won his first F1 World Championship in the same year. In 2013, he signed up for Mercedes, and in 2914 he won five World Championships, and the media turned its attention to him then. In total has won 103 competitions and has been on the podium 183 times. Forbes reports that he has a salary of $57 million and endorsements worth $8 million.
3. Don Schumacher ($300 million)
Don Schumacher was born on November 4, 1944, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, and he is married to Sarah Schumacher. He started his drag racing in the early 1960s, and within a brief period, he had made a name with his excellent crew and team that he oversaw successfully. After 11 years of success in racing, Donn joined his father's company, Schumacher Electric, in Chicago.
He extraordinarily saw the company grow from 400 employees to almost 2000. Currently, it is rated as the largest manufacturer of chargers in the world. In the 1990's he returned to the racing arena and built a team around his only son Tony Schumacher. Since then, he has built a team that is a formidable force in the racing world. 2022 was one of the most successful years when his two teams won the NHRA national event titles. His success in racing saw him inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.
2. Eddie Jordan ($475 million)
Eddie Jordan was born on March 30, 1948, in Dublin, Ireland. Different media houses have described him as the most charismatic team leader in the history of Formula One. He discovered kart racing in 1970 when he worked as an accountant for an electricity company and as a bartender in the evenings. Seeing how kart racing was entertaining, he bought his kart upon returning to Dublin at the end of 1970. In 1971, he won his first Irish Kart Championship.
His first international race was in 1979, when he raced alongside Stefan Johansson in British Formula Three. By the end of 1979, he had given up his racing career and formed the Eddie Jordan Racing Team, even though he had financial constraints to start the venture. In 1981, he founded the Jordan Grand Prix. His drivers, Damon Hill and Ralf Schumacher, won the Belgian Grand Prix. He was forced to sell his team in 2005 after several legal battles. He went on to become one of the top Formula One commentators with the BBC. His average monthly income is $3 million.
1. Michael Schumacher ($800 million)
Michael Schumacher was born at Hurth on January 3, 1969, and by then, Hurth was still under the control of West Germany. His parents were Rolf and Elisabeth Schumacher. He started interacting with motor vehicle racing when he was four years old when his father put a small motorcycle engine in his pedal kart. His parents helped him to enroll at the Karting track in Kerpen-Horrem. At the tender age of six years, he won his first club championships, and he continued to do the same in other championships in Germany and the rest of Europe. He made his debut in his Formula One career in 1991 at the Belgian Grand Prix.
He would continue participating until 1994, when he won six out of seven races. He would later join the Scuderia Ferrari S.P.A racing team in 1996. The team had struggled to win a championship for at least four years until his arrival. He culminated his winnings with the team in 1999 when he won the coveted Constructors title. Through the 1990's he won one title after the other, and notably, he won the Formula One world drive championships seven times in 1994 (twice), 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004. He won the World championships in 2002, the Italian Grand Prix, and the Japanese Grand Prix in 2000. He has worked with Ford, Ferrari, Renault, Mercedes, and Jordan teams throughout his career. The Caknowledge reported that he draws a monthly income of $4 million.
Formula One drivers remain some of the most paid athletes in the world. A common trend among the top richest is that they only drive for a certain period before entering other business activities. They also earn a good chunk of money from endorsing different products. To all fans of Formula One, we have provided a list that you can use to convince your friends and children to love the sport because it is well-paying.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson