Revealed: Formula 1's top ten highest earning drivers in 2022

10. George Russell (Mercedes)
Earnings: Salary $3m, Bonuses $7m, Total $10m

This was George Russell's first season at Mercedes, and the basic $3m salary he's on this year will be a significant boost from his apprenticeship days at Williams even if it's dwarfed by the amount paid to his team mate Lewis Hamilton. But what has really boosted the 24-year-old up the earnings table this year is the whopping $7m he's received in bonuses from that incredible consistency he displayed this year, especially in the first half of the season where every race he finished saw him in the top five. He claimed his maiden pole in Hungary and took his first F1 race victory in Brazil (and also won the the sprint race the day before) to add to seven previous podium finishes in 2022. It meant he finished ahead of team mate Lewis Hamilton in the final standings. No wonder Russell did so well and will be laughing all the way to the bank before jetting off somewhere suitably exotic (and expensive!) for his winter holidays.


9. Lando Norris (McLaren)
Earnings: Salary $5m, Bonuses $6m, Total $11m

Lando Norris committed himself to a long term deal with McLaren, and that she earn him a big pay rise from next season. In the interim, he earns to noce base salary - although it's only a third of the amount paid to Daniel Ricciardo, who was supposed to be the team's big hitter. That it didn't turn out that way is proven by the bonus situation - Norris earns three times the amount paid to Ricciardo. And it's also the reason why the team decided to bite the bullet and release the Aussie at the end of the season rather than continuing to lay out all that money. Norris is much better value and has contributed the lion's share of the team's championship points in 2022. McLaren are getting a top talent on a saver budget as far as Norris is concerned.


8. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
Earnings: Salary $8m, Bonuses $7m, Total $15m

The prestige and glamour of being a Ferrari driver is decently if not extravagantly compensated for, as Carlos Sainz' reported $8m base salary from the Scuderia demonstrates. The Spaniard has also reaped in quite a bit of money on bonuses too, thanks to his maiden F1 victory at Silverstone and three pole positions across the season. In total he's been on the podium in nine of this year's 22 Grands Prix, contributing 246 points to Ferrari's annual total of 554 points in the constructors championship. All of this has helped him secure a two year extension to his stay at Maranello - and likely on even better financial terms.


6=. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)
Earnings: Salary $15m, Bonuses $2m, Total $17m

McLaren were confident enough about Daniel Ricciardo's prospects to put him on a top flight salary when they signed him from Renault before the 2021 season. But with his one win in Monza last year notwithstanding, that investment hasn't paid off leading to the mutual decision to end the contract early at the end of this year. We don't know how much Ricciardo was paid to walk away from his $15m base salary, but it certainly won't be chump change. His lack of decent results in 2022 is reflected by a fairly lowly $2m in bonuses with his best result being fifth in Singapore. Finishing P11 in the drivers standings while Norris was P7 would likely have been the final word in the matter.



6=. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)
Earnings: Salary $15m, Bonuses $2m, Total $17m

Even though he's a former four-time world champion, Sebastian Vettel was on the same amount as Daniel Ricciardo when it came to his base salary from Aston Martin. While Vettel has never been motivated by money, that's still a lot of cash to walk away from in order to retire from the sport at a still-sprightly 35. Even though he's been on very good form - stronger than ever since the summer break - the AMR22 hasn't given him much in the way of opportunity to deliver on track and as a result he's missed out on significant bonuses. But after 53 career victories (the third highest in F1 history to date) there's no doubt that Vettel was worth every cent of his pay from the team while it lasted, and he will be much missed by the teams, his peers in the paddock, and by the fans in the grandstand.