No pay-drivers in 2008 – report

Mon, 31 March 2008, 10:48

For perhaps the first time in years, there are no pay drivers on the 2008 formula one grid, a German specialist motoring magazine claims.

Auto Motor und Sport said Kazuki Nakajima and Adrian Sutil are among the sport’s lowest earners, with annual incomes in the range of $1m, but that – unlike in the past – no drivers actually forgo team retainers in lieu of providing their teams with personal sponsor funds.

Brazilian rookie Nelson Piquet is also a low F1 earner, with his $1.5m in stark contrast to Renault teammate Fernando Alonso, who at $28m is reportedly the best paid driver this year.

Timo Glock has re-entered F1 this season with a start-up fee of $2m.

Among the two top teams, meanwhile, reigning champion Kimi Raikkonen makes $22m in 2008, which is more than double the combined salaries of McLaren duo Lewis Hamilton ($5m) and teammate Heikki Kovalainen ($2.5m), Auto Motor und Sport said.

Like Hamilton, Williams’ Nico Rosberg – also at $5m – is also earning considerably more in 2008 compared with one year ago.

Honda’s Jenson Button commands $16 million, which is more than Nick Heidfeld’s $11m from BMW Sauber.

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