Lewis Hamilton is to come out on the Yas Marina track next Sunday with one single mission: Winning the Abu Dhabi GP 2021. I
f he does so, he would conquer his eighth F1 crown, breaking the seven-title record that he currently shares with the legendary Michael Schumacher. The Briton would thus enter the history books as the most successful Formula One solo driver of all times.
In order to do that he ‘only’ has to beat Max Verstappen as well as avoid a crash at all costs. Let’s not forget that if both rivals were to finish out of the points, the title would go to the Dutchman.
This is because despite having the same number of points, Verstappen has won a total of nine races this season versus Hamilton’s eight.
Whatever happens, these two gladiators will come together in their final battle for glory after an unforgettable season where there has been close duels and clashes aplenty, and where controversy has run rife and although both contenders will be inspired by the sheer epic of the challenge ahead, the Briton will compete with a considerable extra incentive.
Four million for the 2021 crown
The Spanish news outlet Mundo Deportivo recently quoted Forbes to reveal the bonus that Lewis Hamilton was paid after winning the title in 2020; a whopping 4 million euros.
That bonus would come on top of the 49-million-euro salary that he has already earned this season. That is the figure stated in the contract that he signed with his team ahead of the current campaign and which makes him the best-paid driver on the grid.
This ‘small’ incentive, which represents less than 10% of his yearly salary, is an attempt to compensate for the absence of per-race bonuses, a very extended practice in F1.
On this occasion, however, unlike in his previous seven title wins, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen is going to make things a little bit harder for him.
The latter, by the way, only gets 23 million euros a year, considerably less than the stipend of his British nemesis. There are other sources of income, however, that could earn the current championship leader up to 37 million euros per year.
Some very generous sponsors
If any loyal fan of the British champion happens to be worried about their idol being strapped for cash, worry no more. To the earnings mentioned earlier, Hamilton still needs to add the approximate 10 million euros more per season paid by his personal sponsors. In this regard, he too beats his Dutch rival, with the latter only making about one million euros in this way.
Amongst his individual sponsors, there are very famous names such as the energy drink Monster Energy and other sports outwear and fashion labels such as Puma and Tommy Hilfiger. The latter actually joined the Scuderia from Brackley thanks to the #44.
Taking advantage of his love of music, Sony and Bose headphones also give him financial support and let’s not forget about the popular Gran Turismo Sport video game and the Bell helmets that he wears at every race.
Beyond purely financial matters, Hamilton has made his position in Mercedes a platform from where to raise his voice against injustice. He managed, for instance, to convince Mercedes to change the legendary trademark silver colour of their vehicles to black, a clear gesture in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Images Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team.