Alonso established as richest racing driver in the world

© F1 Pulse, 17 May 2013
© Hoch Zwei/Corbis/AP Images

Fernando Alonso has emerged as the top earner in Formula 1 and the third highest earning athlete internationally according to Sports Illustrated, which excluded sportspersons from the United States.

The Ferrari driver’s income has been pegged at nearly $43 million and trails recently retired British football player David Beckham, who topped the list with $48,349,000, and Swiss tennis star Roger Federer in second place, ahead of the Spanish driver by a little more than $600,000.

“F1 drivers... make it onto [the list] from their in-sport earnings, which are high (and should be, right, considering that they risk their lives),” Sports Illustrated said. “Of his total, Alonso’s endorsements with foreign sponsors like Europcar, CajAstur and Pago de Calzadilla are only worth about $4.8 million each year.”

Lewis Hamilton, who switched from McLaren to Mercedes with a three-year contract this season, is 11th overall in the list and is valued at almost $24 million.

“The charismatic Brit driver... continues to be one of the most known faces of the sport,” it read. “Hamilton has only one personal endorsement deal, but it’s a fat one from Reebok, which likely pays him more than $3 million a year to be a global ambassador.”

Retired seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, who was replaced by Hamilton at Mercedes, is 15th after he accrued a sum of $19,600,000 last year.

“He’s here this year because we use 2012 calendar year figures for racing,” Sports Illustrated reasoned. “Schumacher was the fifth highest salaried F1 driver in 2012 when Audemars Piguet, which had signed a deal with him in 2010, announced the Royal Oak Offshore Michael Schumacher, a watch in his honour; the three versions range from $40,000-$100,000-plus.”

Boxing’s Floyd Mayweather Jr tops Sports Illustrated’s Fortunate 50 with earnings of $90 million in a list mostly featuring baseball and basketball players.

NASCAR’s Dale Earnhardt Jr was 49th with a total earning of nearly $18.5 million of which about $5 million was mentioned as his salary with the rest being roped in through endorsements.

This makes Alonso the richest racing driver in global motorsports.


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