Racing automobiles is one of the most dangerous sports in the world.. In addition to other requirements, professional racecar drivers must train to develop high endurance levels and precision skills.
It is not surprising that auto racing is currently one of the highest-paying sports in the globe. We also note that some of the highest-paid race car drivers are among the world’s highest-paid sports entertainers.
This article examines, from lowest to highest, the ten highest-paid race car drivers of 2023. Let’s dive right in.
#1. Sir Lewis Hamilton
It is not surprising that this British racing athlete is the highest-paid race car driver in 2023. Annually, he earns a staggering $40 million, among other sources that contribute to his fortune.
His extraordinary career has been replete with championships, victories, triumphs, and the breaking of previously established records. He has won the Formula One World Drivers’ Championship seven times.
Lewis also holds the distinction for the most Formula One(F1) victories with 103 victories in total. The FIA recognises F1 as the greatest level of motor racing competition.
Currently, he is Mercedes’s representative in Formula One.
#2. Fernando Alonso
Second on our list of the highest-paid race car drivers of 2023 is Fernando Alonso. This Formula One racer from Spain earns $33 million annually.
In 2005 and 2006, he won the World Drivers’ Championship while driving for Renault. He represented Wayne Taylor Racing in 2019 and won the 24 hours of Daytona. In addition, he is one of the F1 drivers with the most victories.
These are just a few of the numerous accomplishments that highlight his racing career. He currently competes in Formula One for Alpine alongside Esteban Ocon and Oscar Piastri.
#3. Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel is the next professional race car driver. He is ranked third among the highest-paid race car drivers, with an annual salary of $32 million.
He won the World Drivers’ Championship four years in a row, from 2010 to 2013. In 2010, he became the youngest F1 World Champion in history when he won this title.
He is also one of the top ten F1 racers in terms of cumulative race wins, with 53 victories. He is currently the Formula One team commander for Aston Martin.
#4. Kimi Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen is ranked fourth on our list of the highest-paid race car drivers. His annual remuneration is approximately $27 million.
In 2007, he won the World Drivers’ Championship competing for Ferrari. In addition, he has won 21 F1 Grand Prix races. He is now one of the F1 drivers with the most career victories.
In his final race, he drove for Alfa Romeo in the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
#5. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Perhaps we can say that this American race car driver has racing in his DNA. His father and grandfather were both NASCAR race competitors. Annually, he earns $25 million.
In his career, he claimed the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship five times. In addition, he won the Busch Series championship and the Daytona 500 twice.
Early in 2022, he was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Currently, he competes in NASCAR for JR Motorsports.
#6. Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen is the next highest-paid race car driver on our list. His annual salary of $24 million is anticipated to increase in the near future.
In Abu Dhabi, he won the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship driving for Red Bull Racing, with Lewis Hamilton finishing second. Additionally, he won the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix.
As a 24-year-old, Max Verstappen has a long and promising career ahead of him. Currently, he continues to compete for Red Bull Racing.
#7. Jimmie Johnson
Jimmie Johnson is ranked number seven on our list of the highest-paid race car drivers in 2022. His annual compensation is $22 million.
Among his many accomplishments, he has won the NASCAR Cup Series seven times. He is also a four-time winner of the Coca-Cola 600 and the NASCAR All-Star Race.
Currently, he competes in the IMSA WS Championship for Ally Cadillac Racing. He also competes for Chip Ganassi Racing alongside Alex Palou and Marcus Ericsson.
#8. Jeff Gordon
Here is professional American race car driver Jeff Gordon. With a salary of $21 million per year, he ranks eighth among the highest-paid race car drivers.
In 2018, he was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, and in 2019, he was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Among other accomplishments, he has won the Winston Cup Series four times.
He is currently the vice president of the American motor racing organisation Hendricks Motorsports.
#9. Kevin Harvick
Kevin Harvick, an additional American race car driver, is next on the list. He is among the world’s highest-paid race car drivers, earning approximately $15.5 million annually.
Throughout his racing career, he has earned numerous victories and honours. These include the 2000 and 2001 Rookie of the Year awards at NASCAR Series events. He also earned the 2015 ESPY Award for Best Driver.
Currently, Kevin Harvick competes in the NASCAR Cup Series for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). In addition to being an outstanding race car driver, he is a devoted philanthropist.
#10. Denny Hamlin
Last on our list of the top ten highest-paid race car drivers is Denny Hamlin. With an annual income of $15 million, he holds this position.
This American professional race car driver currently competes in the NASCAR Cup series for Joe Gibbs Racing. Throughout his racing career, he has amassed numerous victories and honours.
In the 2006 Nextel Cup Series, he won the Rookie of the Year award, which was his first major break. Among his other victories are the Daytona 500 (three times), Sprint Unlimited (three times), and the Coca-Cola 600.
These are the ten highest-paid race car drivers in the world as of right now. They have endured rigorous training and competed numerous times to achieve these positions.
The exhilaration they provide to spectators on the racecourse is rare and well compensated.