Max Verstappen makes subtle dig at Lewis Hamilton in April
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Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton may not have battled it out for the F1 title this year, but there is one race where they very much remain the front runners. Verstappen was dominant on the track in 2022, comfortably retaining his championship by finishing more than 100 points clear of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
In contrast, Hamilton endured his worst season since joining Mercedes, finishing sixth and failing to register an F1 win for the first time in his career. And not only has he seen Verstappen end his reign of supremacy on the track, but the Red Bull man has overtaken him in the financial stakes as well.
According to Forbes, Verstappen was F1’s highest-paid driver in 2022 with a pre-tax total of £50.48 million, reflecting the win bonuses he earnt and the new contract he signed with his team ahead of the season. Hamilton meanwhile, is second at £46.36 million.
Despite being down in ninth in the standings, Alpine’s Fernando Alonso is third with an estimated £25.22 million. The Spaniard will now replace the retiring Sebastian Vettel at Aston Martin ahead of the 2023 season.
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Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez was listed as fourth with earnings of £22.53 million, ahead of Leclerc on £19.93 million. Tied for sixth were two drivers who won’t feature on the track next year, with Vettel making £14.73 million, the same as McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo.
Carlos Sainz it seems, plays second fiddle to Leclerc at the Scuderia both on the track and off it, eighth on the list having made £13 million. Lando Norris follows behind him, the youngster tying himself until 2025 at McLaren with a new deal this year, having made £9.53 million as he still searches for his first F1 win.
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Making up the top-10 is George Russell, having raked in an estimated £8.66 million. His figure was undoubtedly boosted by the bonus money of a first F1 win in Brazil this month.
The overall figures are a a 25% increase on money earned by drivers in 2021. And with the campaign increasing to a record-breaking 24 races next year, the money made by Verstappen and co is set to increase with the extra chances for bonus incentives.
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