It feels like Formula One fans are already itching with anticipation ahead of the new season, with an exciting mix of new and experienced drivers all set to line up on the grid.
Ahead of March's season opener in Australia, reports have emerged regarding how much each driver will earn in 2019 and it's quite eye-opening.
As per GP Fans, once again it is Lewis Hamilton whose pay grade will sit above all other drivers in the 2019 season. His incredible earnings come in good faith too as the British champion won the world championship and ended the season with a staggering 408 points.
The sports personality of the year nominee has had a truly inspirational 2018 and will look to continue his successes into 2019 as we approach the commencement of the new season on March 17. His 2018 efforts have been rewarded with an estimated salary of $57,000,000.
The lowest earner in the up and coming season will be Alexander Albon who will drive with Toro Rosso and earn $170,000.
George Russell - a promising young, talented British driver - will look to earn $180,000 in his debut season with Williams. The sum may rise if he is able to exceed expectations in his first year in F1.
Sauber’s Antonio Giovinazzi is making his return to F1 and the 25-year-old will earn $230,000.
Lando Norris is next on the list and has proved to be one expensive rookie. The debutant will work with McLaren and starts with a heavy price tag of $260,000. Another promising young British driver at the early age of 19 who will be hoping to justify this staggering wage.
One of the more controversial figures in the F1 community Daniil Kvyat has been persistently dropped, promoted and let go for his ‘risky’ driving style and constant ability to cause serious crashes on the track. However, the Russian certainly has some talent and will make his return to Toro Rosso, picking up $300,000 in the process.
Robert Kubica’s return to F1 has been hailed by many as one of the most exciting aspects to the new season. The first Polish driver ever to compete in F1 will come back to earn $570,000.
Kevin Magnussen retains his position with Haas and is set to earn $1,200,000.
Earning the same salary of $1,200,000 will be Lance Stroll who will be driving for Racing Point, formerly known as Force India.
Pierre Gasly is following in the footsteps of one Max Verstappen with his move from Toro Rosso to Red Bull. The move is completely just too, earning him a substantial pay rise to $1,400,000.
Romain Grosjean will earn $600,000 more than his teammate Magnussen despite being outscored by his fellow Haas driver. He will earn £1,800,000 in the 2019 season as he looks to improve on an ultimately disappointing campaign last year.
There is then a huge increase in wage from Grosjean to Sergio Perez. The popular Mexican racer will have earned $3,500,000 come the end of the year.
So too will Ferrari new boy Charles Leclerc, whose move up to one of the big names in F1 will earn him an equally impressive sum of $3,500,000.
After Fernando Alonso leaves the McLaren F1 team, in his place comes fellow Spaniard Carlos Sainz. He will earn $4,000,000.
Renault had a relatively successful campaign in 2018 and, as a result, have kept hold of Nico Hulkenberg whose retainment will cost them $4,500,000 over the year.
The first of the ‘big names’ in F1 to appear on the earnings list is Kimi Raikkonen who drops down from Ferrari back to Sauber and but will still pocket $4,500,000.
Sharing a team with Hamilton comes with considerable pressure but a healthy pay cheque. Valtteri Bottas will drive with Mercedes and earn up to $8,500,000.
After Daniel Ricciardo’s fall last season, Max Verstappen has become the top dog of Red Bull and will earn a whopping $13,500,000.
Ricciardo’s surprising switch to Renault from Red Bull has, though, increased his wage bill as he moves into the top three earners for the season with $17,000,000.
Second only to Hamilton stands his long rival, Sebastian Vettel, who will earn the small matter of $45,000,000. A worthy incentive to catch Lewis Hamilton and try to better him in 2019.
A very handy $57,000,000 for Hamilton, though, will probably be behind the thought of becoming world champion for the sixth time in his already illustrious career.