Racing Royalty: Exploring The Fortunes Of 40 Motorsport Racing Giants

By Ekhama O February 4, 2024

This article was originally published on drivingtodays

The high-octane and adrenaline-pumping world of motorsports is immensely entertaining. Think danger at every turn, fast cars, good-looking drivers who make wads of cash every time they race, and loyal fans who can’t get enough of their racing gods. It is among the most watched worldwide and the fastest-growing spectator sport. Grand Prix events have an annual attendance in the millions! Seeing how dangerous it can get on the grid (or dirt), these racers need one heck of compensation, and that’s what they’re getting. Let’s drive down the track and find out how much racing titans are worth. From Lewis Hamilton to Eddie Jordan and the GOAT Michael Schumacher, here are the most popular racers in the world and their net worth.

Max Verstappen

You can’t talk about motorsport’s biggest names today without mentioning this Belgian and Dutch racer, Max Verstappen. He comes from a family of former racers, with his father being a former Formula One driver and his mother a go-kart racer.

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He’s already made history by being the youngest Grand Prix winner and bringing in major bank while at it. Reports say this guy bagged a whopping $60m between May 2022 and May 2023, bringing his net worth to an estimated $210m.

Fernando Alonso

Unlike Max, Fernando didn’t have the privilege of having racing parents to fuel his passion for this career; the Spanish racing driver is a hundred percent self-made. A Ferrari, Toyota, and Renault driver, Fernando has won countless championships and is a man of many firsts.

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He raced for up to a staggering and impressive sixteen Formula 1 season, during which he amassed an enviable net worth. Estimates have it Fernando is worth well over $240m, some of which are from the many endorsements he’s earned.

Charles Leclerc

Signed by Ferrari for a five-year extension in late 2023, Charles Leclerc is a young, trilingual, five-time Formula One-winning racing machine. We can’t even tell which is more impressive, his prowess behind the wheel or the stats of the cars he races!

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Charles began with karting at about eight years of age, winning championships before graduating to single-seaters. Although his net worth is still under heavy debate, with some sources citing $12m and others $125m, there’s no doubt he’s a highly valued player.

Lando Norris

Already from an incredibly wealthy family, Lando Norris decided not to let all that get to his head, going ahead to forge his legacy. The British Belgian racing driver is racing under the British flag for McLaren, skidding his marks on the grid.

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He’s tied for the most podiums without a win as of the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, achieving his first sometime in 2020. Reports say Lando is approximately worth about $30m, earning an impressive $2m per season. That’s a lot of money!

Tony Stewart

It would be unfair to speak of longevity on the grid and not mention the great Tony Stewart. Not only do we love that he’s been at this for so long, but also that he’s got much more character than many of the racers we know, combined with his hot temper and sarcasm.

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The only driver in history to win championships in both Indycar and NASCAR, Tony has more than a few bragging rights up his sleeve, and we’ve not even gotten to the bank yet. The part-time businessman has got an impressive net worth of $90m that’s only expected to grow over time.

Michael Schumacher 

It’s one thing to participate in a sport and another to make history in it. Michael Schumacher didn’t do the former; he owned the latter. When it came to Formula 1, no racer could come close to his outstanding feat of winning seven championships until Lewis Hamilton entered the picture.

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Michael still holds the record for the fastest laps and has a few more under his belt, showcasing his skillfulness in the sport he’s well known for. He’s got the skill on lock, and so was the case for the funds as well, seeing as the legend has a net worth of over $600m.

Mario Andretti

Another way you can make history in a sport is to win championships, not just in one sphere or one championship but in just about many concerning the sport. That’s just what this Italian-born American racer, Mario Andretti, has done.

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He’s been a NASCAR, Indycar, F1, and World Sportscar Champion and is one of three racers that has ever done such. In his more than thirty years’ worth of career, Mario has been able to amass a net worth of over $130m.

Alexis DeJoria

We can’t deny the fact that we get extremely thrilled whenever we see women excelling in any male-dominated field. That’s why, even though we’re not the biggest spectators of drag racing, we take our time to check on what’s going on in the sphere every now and then to hear about Alexis.

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One of the wealthiest female athletes in the world (some reports have it she’s second behind tennis’ finest, Serena Williams) with a net worth of over $100m, Alexis is winning on all fronts. We can’t wait to see what’s in the future for her in the world of motorsport.

Jimmie Johnson

Many people start with something but grow up to have a career different from their earlier passions. That was not the case for Jimmie Johnson, who began racing motorcycles at the tender age of four, won his first championship at right, and is now a pro auto racing driver!

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For about a year, he competed in sports car racing and the Indycar series. Jimmie is tied with two other racers for the most Cup Championships ever and has brought home a net worth of over $160m. He is now a part owner of Petty GMS.

Danica Patrick

But women making waves in the world of motorsport doesn’t end at Alexis DeJoria, oh no. We’ve got women like Danica Patrick also making their mark by being the most successful female in the entire history of America’s open-wheel car racing.

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Beginning with karting at the age of ten, who could have ever thought she would go on to be the only woman to have ever taken home an Indycar series win? Her racing career and the other endeavors she’s ventured into have fetched her a comfy net worth of about $80m.

Ryan Newman

Taron Egerton might be cinema’s Rocketman (courtesy of Elton John’s legacy), but Ryan Newman holds that title when it comes to the grid. Making his racing debut at about the age of 16, he would later be inducted into the Quarter Midget’s Hall of Fame.

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Ryan Newman, an SRX series champion, competes part-time in the NASCAR Xfinity and NASCAR Cup Series. Many sources estimate his net worth to be about $50m, befitting for a caliber racer. Fun fact: He has a bachelor’s degree in vehicle structure engineering.

Jacques Villeneuve

It’s very common to see kids take after their parents. We don’t just mean in terms of looks but also mannerisms, behaviors, and even career choices. Jacques Villeneuve is one of such people. His father, Gilles Villeneuve, was a Ferrari racer.

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Jacques has won the Indy 500 and 1997 Formula One World Championship alongside “Williams Racing.” His net worth is estimated to be somewhere between $35m and $50m. He was enlisted in Canada’s Hall of Fame in 2010 and, in 1998, was appointed an Officer of the National Order of Quebec.

Denny Hamlin

You know what’s even more impressive than being a successful motorsport athlete? Being a successful motorsport athlete with multiple interests, Denny Hamlin is that guy. He’s not just a 51-time NASCAR Cup Series winner but he’s also a podcast host.

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He competes full-time for the NASCAR Cup Series and even co-owns (alongside basketball legend Michael Jordan) and operates another team in the series. Although he’s never won a championship in the series, he’s revered in the industry and has a net worth of about $65m.

Martin Brundle

Not all paths to the grandest speedways are paved the same. Most of the racers we’ve had on this list so far kicked off their careers with go-karts, but Martin Brundle, on the other hand, started off with something less common: grass track racing at the age of twelve. 

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His career in Formula One began sometime in 1984, becoming the world sportscar champion about four years later. Although he’s retired now and mostly does commentary for sports, he’s still a valued racer with a net worth of $100m, which is not bad.

Kevin Harvick

Kevin isn’t your ordinary racer. Yes, he started off with kart racing super young, like most other racers on this list, but that wasn’t his only interest. He’d also do baseball, basketball, wrestling and even soccer in high school. To say that he is interested in sports is an understatement.

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An all-rounder, Kevin would later settle for his passion of being a racer and become a pretty darn good one at that. He’s got 121 combined national series wins, making him the third-highest of all time, and a net worth of about $70m.

Kyle Busch

You didn’t think we’d mention big bro and leave little bro out of it now, did you? Nicknamed “shrub” (for being the younger brother of Kurt Busch – get it?) and “rowdy,” Kyle is a pro stock car racing driver known for his unique driving style.

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He’s won the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship back in 2009 and, in a surprise turn of events, has also held the WWE 24/7 championship. All his winnings in racing, combined with his endorsements, have garnered him a sum of $80m in assets.

Sebastian Vettel

You can’t make a comprehensive list of the most popular motorsport racers without mentioning one of the most successful in all of Formula One history! Sebastian Vettel is a German racing driver who has driven for BMW, Ferrari, Renault, and Mercedes.

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He retired from Formula One racing in 2022 (announcing that on his very first Instagram post) but now co-owns the Germany SailGP Team. Forbes has once estimated his annual income to be about $41m bringing his total net worth to $140m.

Jenson Button

You know you’re a big deal when you succeed in a sport and your country honors you. Jenson Button is a British racing driver who won the Formula One World Championship and earned the prestigious title of Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE).

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Jenson competes part-time in the NASCAR Cup Series, beginning his career with kart racing at the tender age of eight. Sources say he resides in Monaco, funding his very comfy lifestyle with his $150m net worth. He has a total of 15 Grand Prix victories.

Rubens Barichello

So far, so good; we’ve seen a lot of racers from all over Europe and North America, but loads of other people can make waves in the world of racing, too. Rubens Barichello is a Brazilian racer in his fifties who has done just that.

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He competed in Formula One from 1993 to 2011 and now competes full-time in the Brazilian Stock Car Pro Series, which he’s won twice. Online sources estimate his net worth to be about $110m, making him one of the most successful South Americans in the sport.

David Coulthard

Very often, we see people retiring in one field to begin the pursuit of their interests in a similar field. When David Coulthard retired from Formula One racing in 2008 after taking home 13 Grand Prix victories, he delved into the world of journalism and commentary.

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He’s now worked for the BBC, and written columns for The Daily Telegraph, Channel 4, and Channel 5. With all that racing and media involvement, he’s managed to amass an impressive net worth of about $80m for himself.

Valentino Rossi

He might have never gone to medical school, but people who know their stuff in the motorcycle racing world call Valentino Rossi “The Doctor.” With nine Grand Prix motorcycle racing championships, Valentino has etched his name on the race tracks of time.

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He’s considered to be one of the best motorcycle racers to have ever graced the sport, and his impressive track record (literally) is there to back it all up. Although he’s retired now, he’s been able to stash up some assets and has a net worth of about $200m.

Jeff Gordon

From competing on the asphalt to becoming an executive, Jeff Gordon has had quite the journey in the world of motorsport racing. The former stock car racing driver competed full-time from 1993 to 2015 in the now NASCAR Cup Series.

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He’s recognized for his immense influence on the sport, expanding its audience and helping it reach the mainstream. Now, he serves as the vice chairman of Hendrick Motorsports, a pro auto racing organization with an enviable net worth of about $200m.

Casey Stoner

During the period of most racers’ careers, we often see them switch from one team to another. In some, they find success and make their marks; in others, not so much. In Casey Stoner’s case, he won a title for each team he was in.

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The retired Australian racer has a net worth of $14m, most of which he amassed through his career on the track. His teams were Ducati and Honda, winning the MotoGP world championships for them in the years 2007 and 2011.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. 

When you’re joining the same industry your father is a legend in, regarded as one of the best NASCAR drivers in history, there will be a heck of a ton of pressure on you to perform. For Dale Earnhardt Jr., he dealt with it all and came out on top.

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An occasional competitor in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, the third-generational driver has won the Most Popular Drivers Award an impressive 15 times. From his winnings from racing and all his numerous endorsements, he’s amassed a net worth of $300m.

Kimi Räikkönen

We initially weren’t sure whether Kimi Räikkönen was nicknamed “The Iceman” because he was too cool for the track, because he’s Finnish, or because of how solid his record was, but it turns out it’s because of his unchanging, unfazed expression.

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Nonetheless, Kimi is a national treasure, being the most successful Finnish Formula One driver who began his career at 10 with loads of success in karting. In 2023, loads of sources cited his net worth to be an impressive $250m, most of which he earned through racing.

Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez is a testimony to why you should never look down on anyone because of their physical stature. He might stand at about five feet and seven inches, nicknamed “The Ant of Cervera,” but he’s regarded as one of the most successful motorcycle racers ever.

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He holds the record for the youngest rider to win the Premiere class title, a feat he accomplished in his first season. With 59 wins in MotoGP, Marc Marquez is also the most successful Spanish rider, with online estimates placing his net worth somewhere between $25m and $80m.

Jorge Lorenzo

Speaking of successful Spanish riders, we couldn’t leave out another all-time great now, could we? George Lorenzo is one of the biggest names in Motorsport in Spain and in all of MotoGP, where he’s won the championship an impressive three times. 

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Jorge is an inductee into the MotoGP Hall of Fame and has a net worth of about $20m – $35m. He retired in 2019 with 47 premier class wins under his belt and an impressive motorcycle racing record. He is known for his charitable endeavors outside of racing and uses his platform to make a positive impact.

Nico Rosberg

We’ve seen a lot of racing talent being passed down from parents to their kids in this list so far, and this German-Finnish racer is another of such competitors. Nico Rosberg is a son of the 1982 Formula One Champion, Keke Rosberg.

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Nico competed in F1 for ten years, from 2006 to 2016, and like many other racers on this list, began with go-karting when he was just six. He retired to be closer to his family, becoming an eco-entrepreneur, and now running a creamery with his wife in Ibiza, all earning him a comfy net worth of $50m.

Lance Stroll

It’s nice to see the younger generation of racers step up to the veterans in the game, giving them a run for their money. It makes for a more interesting time on the grid, and Lance Stroll is one of such “rookies” who’s been making waves in that regard.

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The son of a Canadian Billionaire and part owner of the F1 Aston Martin team (the one in which Lance Stroll drives), he’s the youngest driver to finish an F1 race on a podium in his rookie season. Lance also competes in endurance racing and has a net worth of about $50m.

George Russell

Speaking of the younger generations making a come-up, George Russell is another racer who seems to be gaining much traction. He debuted at the 2019 Australian Grand Prix as he signed under Williams Racing that same year. Fun fact: his racing hero is the late Ayrton Senna.

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As one of the youngest on the grid and a relative newcomer to Formula One, his net worth of about $16m is pretty impressive. He has many assets and likes to use his wealth to have a good time, showing us glimpses of it on his social media pages.

Sergio Pérez

With six Grand Prix wins and 35 podiums under his belt, it’s no surprise this Mexican racing driver has amassed a net worth of about $30m to $75m. With his racing came numerous brand deals, and he’s also made many investments.

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He’s driven for Sauber (with which he took home his first Formula One podium, earning himself the nickname “The Mexican Wunderkid”) and McLaren, but Sergio currently competes in Formula One for Red Bull Racing until the end of the season in 2024.

Carlos Sainz Jr. 

As a competitor in a field, once your parent is already in the industry and has made waves there, you get more than an edge over your peers. Just like Dale Earnhardt Jr and Nico Rosberg, Carlos Sainz Jr. is another racer with such a history.

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His father, Carlos Sainz Sr., also known as El Matador, is a double world rally champion, while Jr. races for Scuderia Ferrari in Formula One. He’s got two wins under his belt, and many online estimates predict his net worth to be about $49m.

Kurt Busch

With a reputable career in racing, Kurt Busch has cemented his legacy as one of the top dogs on the grid. Kicking off his career at the tender age of 14, Kurt would go on to win the 2004 NASCAR Cup series and the 2017 Daytona 500.

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The older brother of Kyle Busch, another big player behind the wheel, Kurt, is worth over $70 million, most of which was earned from his winnings in the sport, his investments, and the endorsements he’s landed himself. After being active in racing for over two decades, he retired in 2022.

Andrea Dovizioso

Becoming one of MotoGP’s most successful riders in recent history is no easy feat. That’s why even though the Italian racer Andrea Dovizioso might be retired now, he’s still regarded as a phenom on the motorcycle speedway and in the industry.

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Andrea was active from 2008 – 2022 and is nicknamed “The Professor” due to his incredibly calculated riding technique. He’s won at least one MotoGP race in the past three decades, making him the only rider to do so, and he’s got an impressive net worth of about $1m to $35m.

Alex Rins

Making his Grand Prix motorcycle racing debut sometime in 2012 in the Moto3 world championship, Alex Rins would go on to become the rookie of the year. His net worth is estimated to be about $40m, most of which he earned through his racing and brand deals.

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In the 2017 season, he moved up to the MotoGP class and changed his number from 40 to his former 42. He raced for Team Suzuki Ecstar from the year 2017 all the way to 2022 but is now a part of Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP.

Francesco Bagnaia

Kicking off his career by riding on minimoto bikes as a young kid, who could have ever thought this Italian racer would go on to win a world title in a premier class, being the only one in Valentino Rossi’s VR46 Riders Academy to do so.

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It’s one thing to win the MotoGP world rider’s championship one year and another to win it twice in a row, just like Francesco Bagnaia did in 2022 and 2023. It’s safe to say he’s now made his name in the motorcycle industry, with his earnings and deals bringing his net worth to an estimated $4m.

Pierre Gasly

We’ve seen loads of fathers and mothers pass the torch of racing to their kids, but never have we seen it be a family affair. Pierre Gasly’s family’s racing history goes beyond his parents; even his grand dad was in on it too!

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So far in his career, the French racing driver has achieved four podiums, the first at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix, where he scored second. He has an estimated net worth of about $33m and currently competes in Formula One for Alpine.

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo, just like many other racers on this list, began and grew in the sport of karting. His earliest motorsport memories were of his parents encouraging him while his father was racing. He is best known for his charismatic personality and infectious smile.

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So far, so good; he’s been able to attain a whooping 32 podiums and eight Grand Prix victories over the course of his career. From his earnings from his race winnings to his endorsements, brand deals, and victories, Daniel has been able to amass a net worth of about $50m for himself.

Oscar Piastri

When we see racers like Oscar Piastri, it gives us joy knowing that the world of motorsport is in safe hands. The Australian racing driver currently competes in one of the highest classes of international racing, Formula One, for the British racing team, McLaren.

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The 22-year-old has amassed a net worth of $4m for himself majorly through his F1 team and endorsements he’s been able to land himself. As a young racer, Oscar has already gotten himself a good track record, being the first driver to win Formula 2 & 3 championships and the Formula Renault Eurocup in successive rookie years.

Lewis Hamilton

It’s common to see the youngest players dominating the field in almost every sport. But when you’re just that good, retirement is only an option much later. Take players like Roger Federer and Raphael Nadal for tennis and Lewis Hamilton for racing. He ties racing legend Michael Schumacher for the most championships in the sport.

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The 38-year-old driver is one of the best to have ever done it, and besides the countless championships, his winnings are part of the proof. Motorsport’s wealthiest racer, Lewis, has amassed fortunes worth over $285m as of 2023. He received a knighthood in 2021 from the Prince of Wales.