Lewis Hamilton by far F1’s top earner on a staggering £40m a year, way ahead of rivals Alonso, Verstappen and Vettel – The Sun

LEWIS HAMILTON is set to once again be Formula One's top earner on a truly staggering £40million pay packet.

Mercedes star Hamilton – who tops the Sunday Times' Sports Rich List – will earn well over twice as much as every other driver when he agrees to a contract for 2021.

Sebastian Vettel was the second highest-earner in 2020 but has traded his £37m Ferrari pay packet for a more modest £12.5m at Aston Martin.

Returning legend Fernando Alonso is set to pocket £15m when he gets back into the Renault, known as Alpine in 2021.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen is on a £14m contract that will likely dwarf new team-mate Sergio Perez's deal.

The Mexican's 2021 salary is unknown but expected to be around the £2.5m he earned at Racing Point last year.

Daniel Ricciardo comes in at fifth on a £12.5m deal with McLaren, a reduction on his £16m Renault wage with a heavily bonus-based agreement at his new home.

Charles Leclerc's £8m Ferrari salary puts him sixth, ahead of Valtteri Bottas at world champions Merc on £6.5m.

Scuderia newboy Carlos Sainz is one of few drivers to earn a pay rise ahead of 2021 with a bump up to £5.3m as he swaps Ferrari from McLaren.

Kimi Raikkonen, Lance Stroll and Esteban Ocon are the only other drivers thought to earn seven-figure sums.

The new season will see a handful of rookies enter the paddock in Mick Schumacher, Nikita Mazepin and Yuki Tsunoda.

Racing gets underway in Bahrain on March 28 with a three-day test set for the Sakhir circuit from March 2-4.

The Australian Grand Prix has been put back to November with Imola remaining on the calendar after a successful return to the historic venue in 2020.

Saudi Arabia and the Dutch circuit Zandvoort are on the calendar, with no place for the highly anticipated Vietnamese GO.

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