Max Verstappen rubbing salt in Lewis Hamilton’s wounds with big F1 bonuses

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Max Verstappen is well on the way to winning a third straight Formula One Drivers’ Championship. The Red Bull driver is 125 points clear of second-placed Sergio Perez in the standings at the summer break, having won all of the last eight consecutive races.

Verstappen being crowned champion again is now an inevitable scenario given his unstoppable form. And he also stands to net some healthy performance-related bonuses. The Dutchman has denied rival Lewis Hamilton £30million by winning the last two championships.

Under the terms of his current contract, the Mercedes driver earns £15m each time he claims the driver’s title. And that amount will stretch to £45m this year.

At the same time, Verstappen is raking it in. He is the highest-paid driver on the grid and earns a guaranteed sum of around £43m per season according to the Daily Mail. The 25-year-old also brings in some significant bonuses thanks to his success on track.

His first title win in 2021 saw him clinch an extra £12m on top of his salary, according to Spanish outlet Marca. Verstappen signed a new contract last year but it is unknown the exact amount of the title-winning bonuses he earns as part of his new deal.

But if he’s earning a basic wage of £43m, there is no doubt that his bonuses will be significant too. It is very likely winning the title could stretch his annual salary beyond £50m.

Sporting News suggest Red Bull will earn 14 per cent of the total £706m prize money for the 2023 season. The Concorde Agreement also stipulates that as a result of winning multiple Constructors’ Championships, they stand to get a bigger bonus than had they only ever won one.

Verstappen’s points lead, after 12 races, is the greatest advantage ever taken into the summer break. Speaking after winning the Belgian Grand Prix, he said: “The first half of the season has been much better than anyone would have ever dreamt of, how we are performing as a team and winning so many races in a row is incredible.

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“We’re definitely enjoying the moment, but we also want to keep this momentum and level for a long time, so hopefully after the summer break we’re strong again in Zandvoort.”

Hamilton has not won a race since the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. And Verstappen’s rival, a seven-time world champion, said in Spa: “At the moment, it’s impossible to beat the Red Bull unless they don’t finish. They’re eight-tenths to one second faster per lap than everybody else. It is what it is.

“There’s nothing I can do about it. Do I want to be as fast as them? Of course. Would I like to have a car that’s as fast as them? Of course. If was in Sergio’s car, Max would not be having the same time he’s having now. But it’s not the way life is. Pne day we’ll get back to where we need to be.”

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