The World’s Highest-Paid Athletes in Motorsport – List image

Three motorsport stars feature in the top 20 of the latest Forbes Highest Paid Athletes list – including F1 driver Fernando Alonso, MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi and Michael Schumacher.

Outside motorsport, Floyd Mayweather is the world’s highest-paid athlete, thanks to mega paydays for fights against Victor Ortiz ($40 million) and Miguel Cotto ($45 million).

Motorsport – List
Fernando Alonso
Total earnings: $32 million
Salary/winnings: $29 million
Endorsements: $3 million
Alonso remains the highest-paid driver in F1, earning close to $30 million annually from his salary with Ferrari.

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Valentino Rossi
Total earnings: $30 million
Salary/winnings: $17 million
Endorsements: $13 million
Rossi is arguably the most successful motorcycle racer in the history of the sport. He is certainly its best compensated. His contract to race for Ducati pays him $17 million annually.

valentino-rossi-salary


Michael Schumacher
Total earnings: $30 million
Salary/winnings: $20 million
Endorsements: $10 million
Schumacher came out of retirement in 2010 to race full-time for Mercedes in a three-year deal. The results have been disappointing for the world’s most decorated Formula One driver. He finished ninth and eighth overall in the final standings in his first two years back.

schumacher-salary

Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Total earnings: $28.2 million
Salary/winnings: $13.2 million
Endorsements: $15 million
Earnhardt is Nascar’s top-earning driver and has the highest licensing income in the sport, despite a nearly four-year winless streak that he finally broke in June, 2012. He has been voted Nascar’s most popular driver nine times.

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Lewis Hamilton
Total earnings: $28 million
Salary/winnings: $25 million
Endorsements: $3 million
Hamilton is a free agent after the 2012 F1 season. He is expected to have many suitors as Hamilton is one of F1’s most talented and marketable drivers. His current team, McLaren, controls almost all of the sponsorship rights to Hamilton.

lewis-hamilton-salary


Jeff Gordon
Total earnings: $23.6 million
Salary/winnings: $13.6 million
Endorsements: $10 million
The longest driver-owner-sponsor marriage in Nascar belongs to Gordon, Rick Hendrick and DuPont, who celebrate 20 years together in 2012. Gordon and Hendrick share ownership of the No. 48 car driven by five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson.

jeff-gordon-salary


Tony Stewart
Total earnings: $22.3 million
Salary/winnings: $15.3 million
Endorsements: $7 million
Stewart became the first driver/owner to win the Nascar championship since Alan Kulwicki in 1992. Stewart ranked second in merchandise sales behind only Dale Earnhardt.

tony-stewart-salary


Jimmie Johnson
Total earnings: $21.5 million
Salary/winnings: $14.5 million
Endorsements: $7 million
Tony Stewart’s Sprint Cup title in 2011 broke Johnson’s five-year win streak. J.J. still rakes in one of Nascar’s top salaries with Hendrick Motorsports.

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Source: Forbes