After plenty of speculation over the past few months about his future, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes finally agreed a new one-year deal yesterday.
The seven-time world champion had been out of contract since January 1, but has now committed to the Mercedes outfit for another season at least.
The new deal makes him the highest-paid driver on the grid by some distance, as per The Sun.
Hamilton dwarfs his teammate Valtteri Bottas’ salary by a cool £34m. He is still paid almost double his nearest rival on the grid Max Verstappen.
Charles Leclerc, the promising Ferrari driver, and the experienced Daniel Ricciardo are tied in third place, with both picking up a cool £10.19m per year from Ferrari and McLaren respectively.
Leclerc’s teammate at Ferrari Carlos Sainz and four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, starting his first season at Aston Martin, complete the top six with them both earning £7.28m per year from their respective teams.
Fernando Alonso, widely thought of as one of the finest drivers of his generation, alongside Hamilton, is in seventh place. Hamilton’s teammate Bottas is down in eighth place.
Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Alfa Romeo complete the top 10 list with £4.37m and £3.64m respectively.
Top 10 In Full
1) Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes – Annual Salary £40m
2) Max Verstappen: Red Bull – Annual Salary £18.2m
3) Charles Leclerc: Ferrari – Annual Salary £10.19m
4) Daniel Ricciardo: McLaren – Annual Salary £10.19m
5) Carlos Sainz: Ferrari – Annual Salary £7.28m
6) Sebastian Vettel: Aston Martin – Annual Salary £7.28m
7) Fernando Alonso: Alpine – Annual Salary £6.55m
8) Valtteri Bottas: Mercedes – Annual Salary £5.82m
9) Sergio Perez: Red Bull – Annual Salary £4.37m
10) Kimi Raikkonen: Alfa Romeo – Annual Salary £3.64m
Hamilton will come into this season knowing that he has an opportunity to make more history and become the first man to win eight world titles, beating the joint record that he shares with German legend Michael Schumacher.
Importantly for Hamilton, the terms of new contract include a charitable commitment to increase diversity in F1.
Hamilton was a vocal supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement during last season and regularly championed increasing diversity in Formula 1 and motorsport in general.
He is planning to create a new joint charitable foundation, and he says his team are “extremely supportive” on the issue.
“I’m proud to say we are taking that effort further this year by launching a foundation dedicated to diversity and inclusion in the sport,” he stated.
“I am inspired by all that we can build together and can’t wait to get back on the track in March.”
The season is due to start in Bahrain on March 28 after the Australian GP was postponed until later in the year due to severe quarantine restrictions that still exist in Australia.