British rookie Lewis Hamilton will race for one of F1’s top teams next year and have a world champion for a teammate, but he will not become an instant millionaire.
London based newspaper ‘The Times’ says the 21-year-old McLaren racer, to be one of four Britons on the grid next year, will earn about $6Lewis Hamilton,000 in 2007.
However, while the terms of his contract with the Woking based team are basically unknown, it is expected that Hamilton could add up to $250,000 per race to his income with performance bonuses.
“Hamilton’s salary could then rise to about $1.3m and then up to $3.8m in year three. From then, a successful career could net him up to $13.5m a year or more,” the newspaper wrote.
Hamilton, 21, explained on Friday that he was told by Ron Dennis that he had secured the coveted drive on September 30 — before the 2006 formula one season had finished and in the midst of speculation that Pedro de la Rosa or Gary Paffett might get the job.
Another British newspaper, The Guardian, quoted Dennis as saying that he thinks Hamilton is already as good as any driver in F1 with the exception of Fernando Alonso or Kimi Raikkonen.
He said: “I am distinctly unimpressed with the majority of drivers currently involved in formula one.”