How Much Money Does a Formula Driver Make (+ F1, F2, and F3 Salaries)

While I’m spending most of my free time karting, I still find time to watch every F1 race. I recently told you all about how much professional go-kart racers make. But I always wondered how much F1 drivers earn.

While I’m spending most of my free time karting, I still find time to watch every F1 race. I recently told you all about how much professional go-kart racers make. But I always wondered how much F1 drivers earn.

So, I figured that we’d learn together. And, while we’re at it, why only talk about F1 drivers? I’ll cover how much Formula drivers make and what F1 teams, pit crews, and esports drivers earn. 

If you’re looking for a quick answer, an F1 driver’s salary is between 1 – 40 million dollars,  while the highest-paid driver is Lewis Hamilton, earning an estimated $40 million yearly.

Before I go on, I need to clarify that the salaries mentioned below are estimates. Nobody apart from the drivers, their agents, and the teams know how much they make.

How much money does an F1 driver make in 2022?

F1 drivers earn the most out of any other racing discipline. But, even though top drivers earn tens of millions, this isn’t the case with midfield-team and bottom-team drivers. Here’s a table of the 2022 F1 grid’s salaries.

DriverTeamSalary
Charles LeclercFerrari$12 million
Carlos SainzFerrari$10 million
Max VerstappenRed Bull$25 million
Sergio PerezRed Bull$8 million
Lewis HamiltonMercedes$40 million
George RussellMercedes$5 million
Lando NorrisMclaren$20 million
Daniel RicciardoMclaren$15 million
Sebastian VettelAston Martin$12 million
Lance StrollAston Martin$10 million
Fernando AlonsoAlpine$20 million
Esteban OconAlpine$5 million
Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri$5 million
Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri$750 thousand
Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo$10 million
Guanyu ZhouAlfa Romeo$1 million
Alexander AlbonWilliams$2 million
Nicholas LatifiWilliams$1 million
Kevin MagnussenHaas$6 million
Mick SchumacherHaas$1 million

As you can see, most drivers earn within $1-$5 million, while a large percentage of the grid earns over $10 million. That said, most F1 drivers earn an additional income from their sponsorships. For example, Sergio Perez makes a hefty amount from Telmex, which has sponsored him ever since he started in F1.

Who Are the Highest-Paid and Lowest-Paid Drivers in F1?

The highest-paid driver in F1 in 2022 is Lewis Hamilton, with an estimated salary of $40 million. But, the title of the highest-paid driver in F1 ever goes to Michael Schumacher, who earned an estimated $1 billion throughout his career (including a $30 million salary when he raced for Mercedes from 2010 to 2012).

The lowest-paid driver in F1 in 2022 is Yuki Tsunoda, who earns $750,000 annually.

How Much Money Does an F2 Driver Make?

As I researched more about F2 and F3 salaries, I was shocked to find that most drivers don’t earn nearly as much as F1 drivers. In fact, F2 drivers have to pay an estimated $1.5 – $2 million to get into F2.

According to reports, F2 drivers make between $80,000 to $200,000 from their teams. Most F2 drivers have sponsors who help them out financially at this stage in their career, but they’re usually losing money every year.

How Much Money Does an F3 Driver Make?

Similar to F2 drivers, F3 drivers are estimated to earn between $80,000 to $200,000. They’re usually at the lower end, though, so a better estimate would be a salary between $80,000 to $100,000. Once again, F3 drivers are usually financially supported by their sponsors or their parents.

To get into F3, drivers have to pay between $750,000 and $1,000,000, which is nearly half the entry fee of Formula 2.

Do F4 Drivers Get Paid?

After scouring the internet for hours, I found that most F4 drivers aren’t paid at all by their teams. Some championships, however, will offer the winning driver up to $25,000 in prize money. 

This might sound like a lot, but F4 drivers have to pay between $130,000 to $200,000 to get into the championship. And, at that stage of their career, most of them won’t have a sponsor to back them up.

How Much Money Does an F1 Esports Driver Make?

Unlike Formula racing, F1 esports drivers don’t have to pay enormous entry fees. The biggest prize pool we’ve seen so far was $750,000 in 2021. So, it’s safe to say that the winner earned between $200,000 – $300,000. 

But the actual driver probably made less than half of that. That’s because, like in F1, esports drivers are part of teams that take a cut from all their earnings. They also pay the drivers a yearly salary, but I don’t have any info on that.

How Much Money Do F1 Teams Make?

F1 teams can make hundreds of millions each year. But, their expenses will take away the majority of that money. So, it’s better to learn about how much profit an F1 team makes.

An F1 team will profit $10 – $30 million each year. In 2022, the cost cap is $140 million for each team, so their earnings will be around $150 – $170 million. Every team gets paid to participate in the season, and teams like Ferrari and Williams as long-standing teams.

How Much Money Does an F1 Pit Crew Make?

An F1 pit crew’s salary depends on the team it’s part of. Every person on the crew gets a base salary and bonuses for every race, as well as an additional bonus if the team wins the race (whose value is half the race bonus).

According to estimates, the crew chief of teams like Ferrari and Mercedes earns a base salary of $1 million and a bonus of $10,000 for every race. The tire changers earn around $350,000 and an extra $5,000 for each race. The rest of the crew will earn between $100,000 – $150,000 each.

You can also watch the video below to better understand how much money an F1 pit crew makes.

How Much Do Drivers Make in Other Motorsports?

IndyCar

Most estimates show that IndyCar racers earn a base salary of between $250,000 to $4 million per year. Like in F1, most drivers will make around the $1 million mark. But, it all depends on the sponsor that the driver brings to the team.

NASCAR

NASCAR racers are mostly paid according to their performance (so, they don’t have a base salary). Some have estimated that a driver can earn as low as $22,000, and it’s been reported that the highest-paid drivers earn up to $18 million.

MotoGP

Since MotoGP is the F1 of motorcycle racing, I thought I’d include their drivers’ salaries. Rough estimates show that the lowest-paid drivers earn between $200,000-$250,000, and the highest-paid drivers earn 12-15 million dollars.

Conclusion

F1 drivers are by far the most well-paid drivers in motorsports. To be honest, I thought that MotoGP drivers would get paid more since the sport could be considered more dangerous than F1. But, to get to F1, you’ll have to spend a fortune to get through F4, F3, and F2.

Stay tuned for more articles just like this one!

If you have any more questions that you’d like me to answer, be sure to contact me or leave a comment below.

Dor from GoKart36
Dor from GoKart36

Hi, I'm Dor and since my first lap on a go-kart in Italy, karting became my favorite hobby. I check tracks in many places around the world and am happy to share from my experience.
In my daily job, I am a programmer, and during the season, I race in my local league in the senior category.

More About Me
Phuket Go Kart 390cc 4T

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