F1 2021 driver salaries: Lewis Hamilton takes drastic pay cut in new Mercedes contract

FORMULA 1’s winter break was filled with Lewis Hamilton’s contract speculation regarding whether he would re-sign, or ask for more money.

Newly released salary estimates by Racefans show that it was never about the money as his salary has decreased by £7 million.

Whilst the length of the contract was the main talking point, it was believed that Hamilton also asked for 10% of the Mercedes’ profits. It is little surprise that Hamilton got a decreased wage, with a budget cap coming into place this season it was expected that the big earners would get a pay cut.  

The driver with the biggest decrease in pay is Sebastian Vettel. The four-time champion made the switch from Ferrari to Aston Martin, but also agreed to a £10.5 million pay cut. Whilst the amount is a lot, it is not revelation given how badly his final season was at Ferrari, finishing in the points just seven times.  

McLaren signed Daniel Ricciardo before the 2020 season started, but the Aussie agreed to a £3.5 million pay cut to joined the team. McLaren were hit hardest during the pandemic; they were the first team to furlough their staff and team bosses took pay cuts during the time.

Kimi Raikkonen continues to drive in his 19th season in F1, and was rewarded with a £4 million pay increase. He now earns ten-times more than his younger Italian teammate, Antonio Giovinazzi. This is surprising as Giovinazzi had scored the same amount of points as the former champion, and beat him in qualifying head-to-heads.  

Dorilton Capital bought the Williams team for an estimated £150 million last August, but fresh investment did not translate to increased salaries for the drivers, both still earning £750,000.

One surprising salary is that of Japanese rookie Yuki Tsunoda. The first driver born after 2000 is only on a £250,000 salary. The Honda backed youngster is clearly earmarked for the second Red Bull seat in the future, but that promise is not shown in his lowly wages.

DriverTeam2020 estimated salary (£)2021 estimated salary (£)+/- (£)
Lewis HamiltonMercedes29 million22 million-7 million
Valtteri BottasMercedes5.75 million7.5 million+1.75 million
Max VerstappenRed Bull18 million18 million=
Sergio PerezRed Bull5.75 million5.75 million=
Lando NorrisMcLaren1.5 million3.5 million+2 million
Daniel RicciardoMcLaren14.5 million11 million-3.5 million
Lance StrollAston Martin2 million7.5 million+5.5 million
Sebastian VettelAston Martin21.5 million11 million-10.5 million
Fernando AlonsoAlpinen/a14.5 millionn/a
Esteban OconAlpine3.5 million3.5 million=
Charles LeclercFerrari7.5 million8.5 million+1 million
Carlos SainzFerrari5.75 million7.5 million+1.75 million
Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri1.5 million3.5 million+2 million
Yuki TsunodaAlphaTaurin/a250,000n/a
Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo3.5 million7.5 million+4 million
Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo750,000750,000=
Mick SchumacherHaasn/a750,000n/a
Nikita MazepinHaasn/a750,000n/a
George RussellWilliams750,000750,000=
Nicholas LatifiWilliams750,000750,000=

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