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Forbes Top 100 list: 5 highest paid drivers in the world

2017-06-09 08:25

TOP EARNER: Lewis Hamilton is the highest paid driver according to the annual Forbes top 100 list. Image: AFP

London - At $46-million, F1 champion Lewis Hamilton is the highest paid driver, according to Forbes annual Top 100 list

The Forbes figures include salaries, prize money and bonuses earned from June 2016 to June 2017.

Endorsement incomes are an estimate of sponsorships, appearance fees and licensing incomes for the same 12-month period based on conversations with industry insiders.

The 100 highest-paid athletes earned a collective $3.11-billion over the last 12 months, down from $3.15-billion in 2016.

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The average age of the top 100 is 31. The top 100 earned $887-million from endorsements, memorabilia and appearance fees, down 4% from 2016.

#1 Lewis Hamilton (10th on global Forbes list)
Hamilton is the highest-paid racing driver in motorsport but he is only 10th on the overall list for athletes. His $46m total earnings comes from his $38m salary/winnings and $8m endorsements.

Hamilton became Britain’s best paid sportsman in 2015 by signing a new contract that ensures he will stay at Mercedes until at least the end of the 2018 season. According to CarKeys UK, Hamilton's endorsements include sponsorship deals with the energy drinks manufacturer Monster, IWC, L'Oreal, Bose, Puma, MV Agusta Motorcycles and Bombardier Recreational Products.


#2 Sebastian Vettel
Ferrari's Vettel's rank at No.14 on the list is due to his $38.5m total earnings comes from his $38m salary/winnings and $500 000 endorsements.

The four-time world champion is in the final year of the contract he signed when joining Ferrari from Red Bull in 2015. With talks between the driver and Ferrari on hold, and rumours of a switch to Mercedes-Benz, Vettel could soon be climbing up the list. His endorsements include Braun, Casio, Head and Shoulders and Ray Ban.


#3 Fernando Alonso
Hot on the heels of Vettel, is McLaren-Honda driver Fernando Alonso who is 20th on the list. Alonso has a total of $36m earnings from a $34m salary/winnings and $2m endorsements. Alonso joined McLaren from Ferrari as part of a three-year deal in 2015. Wheels24 reported Alonso earned about $300 000 for his stint in the 'Brickyard'. His income includes endorsement deals with Citi, Pirelli and Kimoa.


#4 Jimmie Johnson
Nascar driver Jimmie Johnson is 93rd on the list of richest athletes with a $21.8m total earnings from $16.8m in salary/winnings and $5m in endorsements.

Johnson ties with Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt for the most Nascar Spring Cup Series championships and that the new Nascar charter system means that there is more parity in the distribution of purses and bonuses, meaning Johnson took home less in winnings in 2016 than previous years. Sponsors include Gatorade, Chevrolet and Seiko.


#5 Dale Earnhardt Jr


Much-loved Nascar driver Dale Earnhardt Jr makes the 100 richest Athlete's list at No.100 with total earnings of $21.4m from his $13.4m salary/winnings and $8m endorsements.

Wheels24 reported that the 2017 Nascar season will be Earnhardt Jr's last behind the wheel. According to CarKeys UK, Earnhardt was voted Nascar's most popular driver in 2016 for a 14th straight year. This popularity means he has taken home over $8m in endorsements in each of his last two years. Earnhardt's personal endorsement partners include Nationwide, Chevrolet, Axalta, Goody's, TaxSlayer and Wrangler.


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Forbes Top 100 list: 5 highest paid drivers in the world

At $46-million, F1 champion Lewis Hamilton is the highest paid driver in the world, according to Forbes annual Top 100 list.

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