How Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton makes and spends his £131 million fortune

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Clive Mason/Getty Images

  • Lewis Hamilton is one of the world’s highest-paid sportsmen.
  • Most of his wealth comes from F1 driving, with extra from sponsors.
  • His biggest purchases include a private jet and property.

Lewis Hamilton is top dog in a sport overflowing with money like almost no other.

The Mercedes driver won a fourth F1 world championship in October, cementing his position as the unquestioned best British driver (he also has more Grand Prix wins than any other Briton and most career points).

His wealth – though difficult to track – is pegged in excess of £130 million, and comes with plenty of perks and controversy.

The Sunday Times Rich List names Hamilton as Britain’s wealthiest sportsman – scroll down to find out how he makes and spends his millions.


This is Lewis Hamilton — Formula One’s reigning world champion and one of the world’s best-paid sportsmen.

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Clive Mason/Getty Images

Hamilton is worth a scorching £131 million, according to the Sunday Times Sport Rich List.

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Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning his second F1 World Championship in 2014.
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Clive Mason/Getty Images

Source: The Sunday Times


In 2015 Hamilton signed a three-year deal to drive for Mercedes worth £100 million ($131 million). The contract made him the highest-paid British sportsperson at the time.

G’d up from the feet up????

A post shared by Lewis Hamilton (@lewishamilton) on

Source: The Telegraph


Part of his contract signed in 2015 means he can take home an extra £10 million a year in performance bonuses.

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Reuters/Edgar SU

Source: Forbes


This year he’s estimated to have made £35 million ($46 million).

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Hamilton celebrates winning his fourth F1 World Drivers Championship at the Mexico Grand Prix, 2017.
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Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Source: Forbes


That’s £28.9 million from racing, a mixture of his Mercedes salary and winnings.

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Hamilton celebrates winning his first Formula 1 Grand Prix race in Canada, 2007.
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Paul Gilham/Getty Images

It’s not easy to figure out how much prize money Hamilton personally gets from his racing wins.

Unlike in other sports, there is no publicly-stated prize pot for the winner. Instead, Formula 1 uses a complicated, closely-guarded formula to distribute money between teams based on performance over a number of years.

An authoritative ESPN report from 2014 claimed to reveal how much money each F1 team got, but even that attempt did not reveal what proportion of team cash any driver would be in line for.


Hamilton has also amassed a slew of premium sponsors like Monster Energy, IWC, Bose, and Bombardier, which in the past year earned him more than £6 million ($8 million).

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Clive Mason/Getty Images

Source: Forbes

The details of each deal have been kept under wraps as well – but it’s clear they get plenty of mileage for their money.


Here’s Hamilton showing off an IWC watch in a video showing a classic Mercedes F1 car.

Source: Forbes


And here he is with a set of Bose headphones.

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Mark Thompson/Getty Images

#Teammates

A post shared by Lewis Hamilton (@lewishamilton) on


One of his latests sponsors is MV Augusta Motors, a high-end motorcycle company.

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Karwai Tang/Getty Images


Hamilton is a big spender as well as a big earner. He bought two £2.2 million Mercades cars packing the same engine as his F1 model. One for himself and one for his dad.

New whip, who dis? ???? #AMGProjectONE @mercedesamg

A post shared by Lewis Hamilton (@lewishamilton) on

Source: The Sun


Hamilton is also an art fan, as seen in this framed Andy Warhol print he wore round his neck to a press conference in 2014.

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Hamilton wearing Andy Warhol’s ‘Cars, Mercedes Benz 300 SL Coupe’ on a gold chain.
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Clive Mason/Getty Images

The image shows a Mercedes 300 SL Coupé. The original, full-size version sold in 2007 for more than $2.5 million.


He also loves to hang out with other super rich athletes like Neymar — the two are photographed here together at the 2016 NBA finals.

Congrats to my brother @neymarjr ????????????????????????

A post shared by Lewis Hamilton (@lewishamilton) on

Source: BBC

Find out how Neymar spends his millions here.


Not to mention relaxing after a hard race in Monaco with model Bella Hadid on a superyacht.

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Bella Hadid attending the Monaco Grand Prix with sister Gigi and Kendall Jenner.
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Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Source: The Sun


These days Hamilton lives in Monaco — one of the priciest places in Europe, and a well-known tax haven.

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Hamilton rides his motorbike in the Paddock during previews for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix, 2017.
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Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Source: Hamilton’s Instagram

Media have repeatedly speculated about Hamilton’s property interests in Monaco. In 2007 The Mail on Sunday said he was looking to spend as much as £10 million on an apartment there, but the claim has never been substantiated.


He also has an interest in a £26 million hotel development in Grenada, where his father is from.

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Hamilton after winning pol position at the Spanish Grand Prix, 2016.
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Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Source: The Daily Telegraph


In 2011 Hamilton bought Prince’s gold Fender Stratocaster for more than £61,000 ($100,000).

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Prince playing another of his guitars at the 2006 BET Awards in Los Angels.
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Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Source: The Telegraph


And in 2013 Hamilton bought his own £20 million blood-red Bombardier jet.

2017 will be better…

A post shared by Lewis Hamilton (@lewishamilton) on

Source: Daily Mail


However, the purchase has been mired in controversy since it came to light that Hamilton avoided millions in tax when buying his jet thanks to an Isle of Man scheme.

Source: Business Insider