F1 Drivers paid too much


Ex-FIA chief Max Mosley say Formula One drivers earn too much and again advocates his long proposed budget model as the solution for F1’s woes.

Lewis Hamilton will earn up to 30 million euros this year, with Alonso and Vettel earning the similar amounts and more.

Speaking to ‘GQ’, Moseley describes these figures as ‘absurd’, though it is worth remembering Michael Schumacher in his pomp earned more than Hamilton does under his new contract.

Max’s argument is that races are not that bothered about the total amount they earn, but the amount in relation to other drivers.

“If I were running the sport, each team would be get the same amount of money, then they could invest more in the driver and less in the car – or vice versa”.

100m euros is the level Moseley argues is where the budget cap limit on spend should be set, this would see teams having to raise just around 10 million above and beyond the payments from FOM – before they hit the spending ceiling.

Whilst unlikely to happen, this could reveal the worth teams place on the driver over and above the car.

However, in actuality the drivers would just receive direct payments from sponsors, over and above the 100 million team spend limit.

This remuneration would of course be for marketing services rendered, ‘unrelated’ to Formula One.

15 responses to “F1 Drivers paid too much

  1. “Max’s argument is that races (racers) are not that bothered about the total amount they earn, but the amount in relation to other drivers”……..

    That statement does not make sense at all. If anything it shows that they are indeed bothered with how much they’re making in relation to other drivers.

    • What he’s trying to say is that they don’t have a fixed amount of money they want to get, but they see what others earn and they want the same if they believe they’re as good. Take Lewis for example, if Alonso and Vettel were earning a third less, Lewis would ask for that, not a third more. He believes he’s at least as good as them hence asking for the same renumeration in salary. If he thought he was heads and shoulders above them, he would have asked for more from Toto and co.

      • For all we know he may well have asked for more, but as is the way with negotiations that doesn’t mean you’ll always get it.

        Regardless of that though, this isn’t something unique to F1 – anyone at the sharp end of any industry will want to be earning an equivalent or greater amount to other people in a similar position. That doesn’t change whether it’s an F1 driver, a CEO, a musician, a footballer, etc.

        I don’t think it has much relevance to the state F1 is in though. Looking at the 2014 salaries, most drivers were earning nowhere near the amounts of Alonso, Hamilton or Vettel yet it still didn’t stop teams from going under. Both Caterham drivers were on €150,000 for example, so – as an example – Jenson Button earning 100 times more than them didn’t really have much bearing on whether Caterham could afford to pay for their engines, development and so on. If you can only afford to pay your drivers that amount (and in that instance could barely afford even that), the top teams being yoked to paying their drivers a couple of million a year isn’t going to mean anything.

        Solving the problems created by the new aero regulations and their affects on the ability of drivers to follow/overtake would probably be more helpful to smaller teams. To use an example, the Mercedes drivers have had issues overtaking Ferrari drivers even though they were arguably in better cars, so if you’re an up-and-coming driver in a small team, what chance are you likely going to have of causing an upset and overtaking some of the further back midfield teams? The underdogs getting a chance to score some points from time to time and consequently get their bonuses has proven instrumental in Manor being able to run this year, so imagine if the smaller teams were able to have the chance to mix it up like that more regularly and start increasing their slice of the pie that way? I’m aware that it takes a fairly unique set of circumstances for it to happen, but making it so that if those circumstances happen to crop up the drivers are able to take them would make more sense than stopping drivers at the front of the grid having one or two less zeroes on the end of their salaries.

        Fundamentally, more over-taking creates more interesting races, more interesting races creates greater viewing figures, and that will lead to increased revenues which would – ideally – then filter down to the teams. I’m aware the current arrangements with payments mean that doesn’t happen in a particularly equal manner, but “growing the pie” is going to mean that the lower teams are still able to have access to more money even if it’s not quite the amount they “should” receive. It’ll also leave F1 in a stronger position for the future which is again something that’s going to be affected little by how much drivers earn. When people talk of Senna, Prost, Fangio, etc., they don’t talk about how much they earned, and when people look back at this generation it won’t be the thing they talk about either. The talk of the battle between Rosberg and Hamilton in Bahrain last year wasn’t because the winning driver was going to get a performance bonus at the end of the weekend…

    • Must’ve missed something in Max’s words.
      English not your first language I guess……

    • Even a stopped clock is right twice a day; it’s stating the obvious that almost everything about the financial situation in F1, including driver salaries, is grotesquely inflated.
      You’re really wound up tight about the “perv” stuff, huh? Hmmm…

      • Read this and tell us that F1 drivers are overpaid
        You are aware that people with unusual sexual preferences are often victims of blackmail? Once their secret is known – well a 12 year old can join the dots.

  2. “If I were running the sport…” – Max

    Yes, we already know, Max.

    I’ll heed the words of my mother. “If you’ve got nothing nice to say…” etc.

  3. Totally absurd. Teams should be free to pay what they like for drivers. Cut the cost of buiding the cars and allow teams to plate it in gold if that is their thing.

  4. Max Moseley is infinitely more qualified to comment than the rest of us, despite his misdemeanors, so when he speaks we really should probably listen.

  5. Who needs a driver? Just control the car from the pits like a drone. Full scale RC racing.

    Seriously though, its called a ‘market’ and if a certain teams feels like they are getting 30M euros out of a driver, then who are we to judge? Other drivers are probably paying 1-10M euros for a seat.

    I’m actually in favor of a driver and team salary cap, but that also has to include driver and team salary minimums as well. This is what the NFL does and it works great for competition.

  6. I don’t think driver salary caps will help the financially struggling teams because their drivers are already paid relatively little or they employ a pay driver. It’s not like placing a cap on the driver salary will somehow change this situation.

  7. Let’s make the teams pay their drivers a minimum sum, say 100k EUR but make this NET of their sponsorship they bring the team. This would free up a lot of seats for REAL talent.

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