How much does a F1 driver make for winning a race and how many points are earned?
It’s a sport for the super rich, they say, and Formula 1 certainly carries a reputation of being flush with money and lavish lifestyles.
With the 2023 Formula 1 season underway, it’s as good a time as any to take a look at the points system in the fast-paced sport and, moreover, what kind of cash drivers make when they win a race. We’ve seen the multi-million-dollar contracts of Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton with Red Bull and Mercedes respectively, but what about the winnings from the race itself? Let’s find out.
The points system in Formula 1
From the blistering speed, to the celebrity fans, to the glamour, glory and, of course, the champagne, Formula 1 is many things. Yet, when all is said and done, it’s truly about winning points. Indeed, it’s points that lift a team from ‘promising’ to victorious and drivers from ‘talented’ to legendary. With that in mind, here’s a look at how points will be awarded in the 2023 season so that you clearly understand what it takes to win a World Championship in Motorsports premium event. To be clear, as many as 26 points are available to the winner of a Grand Prix, including 25 points for winning it and the possibility of a bonus point. See below for the details:
F1 points in 2023
The Bonus Point
One bonus point is available for the driver who records the race’s fastest lap if you didn’t know. To be clear, the driver must also finish in the top 10 to be eligible to receive the point. Understandably, this requirement is to safeguard against any of the drivers outside of the top 10 pitting for fresh tires in the last few laps of the race in an effort to set the fastest lap, which in turn would compromise race integrity.
How much money do Formula 1 drivers receive?
Before we get into the winnings that drivers take home, it’s important to understand a few things about Formula 1. Firstly, there is the total pot size which stands at a staggering $900 million, which is generated by various things, but in principle, TV rights and the race fees that individual teams pay. Then we also have to consider the distribution of these funds. The amount of money a team receives can vary greatly depending on their performance during the season.
To put this in perspective, Mercedes’ win as ‘constructors’ champion in 2020 saw them take home $135 million, while Aston Martin - known as Racing Point at the time - took home $60 million for finishing last, which, as you can see was less than half of Mercedes’ winnings.
Now, where drivers themselves are concerned, it’s important to understand that, as we just established above, the winnings per race go to the team across the season. In terms of what drivers receive, that figure is based on the contract they signed. While there may be bonuses involved per race, that is once again based on the nature of the contract they agreed to with their team.
If you missed our report on current salaries amongst Formula 1 drivers, be sure to check it out, but ultimately the point remains the same: It’s more about the team when it comes to earnings from races than it is about the driver.
Overall, salaries for F1 drivers range from about $1 million to an impressive $55 million.