Leclerc is his nearest competitor at the moment, winning the Austrian Grand Prix to close the gap to 38 points and to give him a chance of claiming a maiden world crown.
The seven-time world champion is the most expensive driver on the grid, taking home a salary of £32 million a year, but with Mercedes’ struggles, it won’t be the best value on the grid for the cost per point across the grid.
Now we’re halfway through the season, it’s an interesting time to look at who has been performing the best in terms of average cost per point from their salaries. A Reddit user has compiled the graph by using salaries from Motorsport Tickets.
Barring COVID substitute Nico Hulkenberg, Nicholas Latifi is the only other driver who is yet to score a point this season, so he doesn’t rank on the graph as there are no points to work out.
Lance Stroll sets his team back the most per point, costing way over $3,000,000 per point. His teammate, Sebastian Vettel, is the next worse at $1,000,000 per point for his 15 points.
Unsurprisingly, Hamilton is next on the list, having a difficult season in Mercedes’ plagued W13. He has done all he can with the car, but being the best paid driver, his return for his salary isn’t great.
In comparison, George Russell actually has the best average cost per point on the grid. He’s only 19 points ahead of Hamilton who is the only driver to finish every single race, but with a considerably lower wage, it works out a much better deal for Mercedes so far!
He’s just ahead of Sergio Perez who is the second best, with Japanese driver Yuki Tsunoda in third to complete the podium.
They’re closely followed by the Ferrari pairing of Leclerc who is slightly ahead of Carlos Sainz who have secured 303 points between them so far.
Despite being the leader of the championship, Verstappen is only eighth on the list, showing why he’s one of the best paid drivers on the grid, with a healthy lead in the championship not enough to compete with his teammate for cost per point.