Max Verstappen ahead of Lewis Hamilton in world’s top-earning athletes rich list

But Lewis Hamilton earned more than Max Verstappen away from the F1 circuit

(L to R): Winner Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing with second placed Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 in Sprint parc
(L to R): Winner Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing with second placed…

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton are the only F1 drivers included in a new rich list.

Forbes’ rank of the 50 highest-earning athletes in the world for 2024 has laid bare the income for F1’s two biggest stars.

Verstappen is named the 17th biggest-earner of the year, and Hamilton is 21st.

Forbes track every athletes’ income between May 1, 2023, and May 1, 2024.

The list includes ‘on-field’ earnings - prize money, salary, bonuses - and ‘off-field’ earnings - estimated sponsorship deals, appearance fees, memorabilia and licensing.

Verstappen pocketed $81m in total ($76m was his salary and prize money after winning last year’s F1 championship).

Hamilton earned a total of $69m ($57m was his salary but, in the past 12 months, bonuses for performances and results were hard to come by).

Notably, Hamilton earned $12m for sponsorships and other fees unrelated to his on-track performance.

Hamilton’s star power is a huge reason that he is able to earn more than double the amount of Verstappen away from the F1 circuit.

17th-placed Verstappen and 21st-placed Hamilton are separated in the rich list by NFL star Aaron Rodgers, golfer Rory McIlroy, and another NFL player in Justin Herbert.

No other F1 driver - or any representative from motorsport - features on a list which is largely dominated by footballers, golfers and NFL or NBA players.

Next year, it will be intriguing to see how Verstappen and Hamilton’s earnings soar.

Verstappen can count on another hefty bonus incoming if he completes a fourth consecutive F1 championship win, as he is expected to do.

Hamilton will switch Mercedes for Ferrari next year which will result in a salary increase - and likely also huge sponsorship deals.

The Forbes top 10 earners in 2024 were:

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo ($260) - football

  2. Jon Rahm ($218m) - golf

  3. Lionel Messi ($135) - football

  4. LeBron James ($128.2m) - basketball

  5. Giannis Antetokou ($111m) - basketball

  6. Kylian Mbappe ($110m) - football

  7. Neymar ($108m) - football

  8. Karim Benzema ($106m) - football

  9. Stephen Curry ($102m) - basketball

  10. Lamar Jackson ($100.5m) - American football

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