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F1 2009 driver salaries revealed

28 October 2009

The driver salaries for every competitor in F1 2009 have been published, containing a number of surprises – most notably the discrepancy in team-mate pay in some cases, and also the staggering gap between what the highest-paid driver receives and the pay packet of the next man on the list...

Ahead of the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this weekend around the all-new, spectacular Yas Marina street circuit, Arabian Business has revealed the salary list, which is perhaps unsurprisingly topped by former world champions Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari, 2007), Lewis Hamilton (McLaren-Mercedes, 2008) and Fernando Alonso (Renault, 2005/2006).

More of a shock, perhaps, is the $27 million margin between Raikkonen's retainer and that of Hamilton, and the $37 million that the Finn earned over injured Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa, who is bidding to return to the fray in 2010 following his terrifying high-speed Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying accident back in late July.

The figure also perhaps sheds some light upon Raikkonen's current predicament, with potential suitors McLaren and Toyota reportedly baulking at the 30-year-old's financial demands for next season, and the 18-time grand prix-winner apparently unwilling to lower his expectations.

Newly-crowned 2009 F1 World Champion Jenson Button, meanwhile, was paid just $5 million over the course of his title-winning campaign – albeit $4 million more than Brawn GP team-mate Rubens Barrichello, who seemingly received less even than Scuderia Toro Rosso rookie Sébastien Buemi – after taking a substantial cut last winter in order to enable the Brackley-based outfit to survive the post-Honda F1 fallout. The British star and his team remain locked in stalled discussions over his 2010 salary – as the 29-year-old believes his achievements this year merit a return to his erstwhile retainer at the very least.

Aside from Raikkonen, Hamilton and Alonso, similarly ahead of Button on the list are Brawn-bound Williams star Nico Rosberg, Massa, Toyota veteran Jarno Trulli and Red Bull Racing pairing Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. Whilst four drivers on the grid – Kazuki Nakajima (Williams), Romain Grosjean (Renault) and Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi (both Force India F1) – went unpaid, the total salaries nonetheless equalled a mind-numbing $134.8 million, or to put it another way, an average of $6.4 million per driver.

“There may be a global recession going on,” remarked Tom Rubython, who compiled the list, “but being an F1 driver means you earned a fortune this year. These figures are just basic salaries, and don't include sponsorship and other income, which can often be three times that amount.”


Full list of F1 2009 driver salaries:

1. Kimi Raikkonen $45m
2. Lewis Hamilton $18m
3. Fernando Alonso $15m
4. Nico Rosberg $8.5m
5. Felipe Massa $8m
6. Jarno Trulli $6.5m
7. Sebastian Vettel $6m
8. Mark Webber $5.5m
9. Jenson Button $5m
10. Robert Kubica $4.5m
11. Heikki Kovalainen $3.5m
12. Nick Heidfeld $2.8m
13. Timo Glock $2m
14. Giancarlo Fisichella $1.5m
15. Sébastien Buemi $1.5m
16. Rubens Barrichello $1m
17. Jaime Alguersuari $0.5m
18. Vitantonio Liuzzi $Nil
19. Adrian Sutil $Nil
20. Romain Grosjean $Nil
21. Kazuki Nakajima $Nil


What the F1 teams spent on drivers in 2009:

1. Ferrari $53m
2. McLaren-Mercedes $21.5m
3. Renault $15m
4. Red Bull Racing $11.5m
5. Toyota $8.5
6. Williams $8.5m
7. BMW-Sauber $7.3m
8. Brawn GP $6m
9. Scuderia Toro Rosso $2m
10. Force India $1.5m


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