Top-Earning Speedsters Revealed: Here Are the Richest Race Car Drivers
On August 30, 1867, what is believed to be the first documented automobile race took place in Manchester, England. Two drivers steered their road steam carriages over an 8-mile countryside course, excited about pushing the boundaries of self-powered vehicles (but wary of attracting the attention of authorities).
By the late 19th century, officially sanctioned and organized races were taking place across the United States. Today, automobile races are held on almost every continent, from open-wheel races like Formula One and IndyCar, to stock car racing like NASCAR. That has changed the financial landscape of the globally popular sport.
TV Deals and Revenue: Comparing NASCAR and Formula One
NASCAR (founded 1948) is in the middle of a 10-year television agreement worth an estimated $8.2 billion. Formula One (founded 1950), has a large following overseas and made $2.6 billion in total revenue between Q4 2021 and Q3 2022, per earning reports released by Liberty Media, the parent company of the racing series. In June 2022, Formula One signed a television rights deal with ESPN worth a reported $75 to $90 million per year.
But does this wealth trickle down to the athletes competing in the sport? In many cases, yes. Stacker ranked the 25 richest race car drivers based on estimated net worth data from Celebrity Net Worth. The data set includes each driver's nationality and which racing series they are best known for driving in. Formula One makes up the bulk of this list—16 of the 25 drivers have spent significant time in the open-wheel series. Seven, meanwhile, compete or competed in NASCAR.
Read on to see whether any of your favorite drivers made the list.