With a net worth of nearly $240 million, British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton is in a pretty enviable spot right now. Not only is he regarded as one of the best F1 drivers of all time, with four world championships under his belt, but he is also one of the highest-paid athletes in the world and is topping the Forbes list year after year.
Considering his long list of accolades and the immense star power that he brings to the table, Mercedes continues to treat Hamilton pretty damn well, and thanks to a recent contract extension he just signed with the racing team, he will make a max salary of $51.9 million a year through 2020.
To put that into perspective, as Jalopnik points out, Hamilton’s annual salary is around $13 million more than that of recent Los Angeles Lakers acquisition Lebron James. Of course, that’s not taking endorsement deals and additional revenue into account, which technically makes Lebron the wealthier athlete.
But, with endorsement deals with Mercedes-Benz, Tommy Hilfiger, Monster Energy, Puma, IWC, Bombardier, Bell Helmets, Bose and MV Agusta Motorcycles, Hamilton is as marketable as they come. Simply put, the guy is making bank.
And, even though he’s only 33, Lewis Hamilton’s lavish lifestyle has been a lifetime in the making.
Lewis Hamilton’s love for racing first manifested itself in Britain at the age of six, when his dad bought him a remote-controlled car. When he was eight, Hamilton got into karting, and only two years later, he became the youngest driver to ever win the British Cadet Kart Championship.
Already being taken seriously as an F1 prospect by the time he was 12, Hamilton continued to succeed in the karting circuits until moving on to Formula Renault in 2001, winning the championship in 2003. He would then end up having dominant seasons in the Formula 3 and GP2 Series.
It was in 2007 when Hamilton would begin his Formula One career with McLaren and continue to make history on an even grander scale.
Formula 1 Stardom
Hamilton’s 2007 rookie F1 season was one for the record books, though he would end up losing the world championship by just one point to Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen. The following year, at the age of 23, he would become the youngest Formula One World Champion.
Despite struggles with racist fans and a frustrating 2009 season, Hamilton would continue to make great strides as a McLaren racer. But, it was in 2014 when Hamilton (who, at this point, was with Mercedes) would have his most dominant season. He raked in 11 wins during that season, which culminated in a second championship. In 2015? A third championship. 2016 would be a close-but-no-cigar-year, but in 2017, Hamilton smoked the competition and won his fourth championship.
While Hamilton didn’t exactly thrive at the beginning of the 2018 season, he’s back to business as usual, with a win at the Russian Grand Prix in October. Mercedes is clearly still putting a lot of faith in him, considering his impressive new multi-million-dollar deal. Wonder what he’ll spend all that money on…