What's a driver worth?

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
ESPN will publish the highest paid sportsmen of 2010 from around the World next month but they've let out a few highlights. Probably no surprise that F1 drivers top many countires lists:

Alonso - $22,736,842
Massa - $17,052,632
Hamilton - $18,473,684
Kubica - $10,657,895

However, Kimi trumps them all having earned a reported $26,333,333 for his rally exploits whilst Valentino Rossi got $20,800,000

http://www.f1sa.com/index.php?optio...ighest-earners-in-brazil-and-spain&catid=1:f1
 
J

johnnoble1990

Guest
Yep FB. Not surprising at all to see the F1 guys raking it in. It is as much for their corporate identity as it is for their driving. Then again, teams through millions of pounds trying to get a few extra point of seconds, maybe a driver who can get you .3 or more is worth throwing the big bucks at.

Also, I'm pretty sure Kimi's earnings has very little to do with his rally exploits. Ferrari were still paying him because his contract wasn't over when they dropped him.
 

snowy

Champion Elect
If Kimi is being payed $26,333,333 to drive a rally car, it's the most ludicrous thing I have ever heard of! :censored:

Considering his relatively modest achievements in F1 and fortuitous title, Kimi has to have been the most overpaid driver in the history of the sport.
 

no-FIAt-please

Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
Considering his relatively modest achievements in F1 and fortuitous title, Kimi has to have been the most overpaid driver in the history of the sport.

I think that's a little harsh Snowy, with better luck Kimi could have been a 3x WDC and at least should have been a 2x WDC with all them engine troubles in '05. Although I will agree with you about his title being lucky, but then again a lot of titles are down to luck.
 

snowy

Champion Elect
Luck is an unusually dominant force in Formula One.

I certainly don't want to be critical of Kimi's skill and I recognise his misfortune of having driven for McLaren during a period of dyer reliability.

However he was always being paid too much and it actually made him a poorer driver IMHO.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Given how much F1 drivers are paid I wondered if the Champions hadn't raced would the No.2 have won the title instead. To start off I've worked out 2 seasons where one driver/car was massively dominant 1992 and 2004. The results are:

1992 Actual result

1. Mansell 108
2. Patrese 56
3. Schumacher 53
4. Senna 50
5. Berger 49
6. Brundle 38

Had Mansell not been driving, and assuming you just shuffle all the places up 1, the result is:

1. Patrese 78
2. Schumacher 73
3. Berger 64
4. Senna 57
5. Brundle 55
6. Alesi 26

2004 Actual result

1. Schumacher 148
2. Barrichello 114
3. Button 85
4. Alonso 59
5. Montoya 58
6. Trulli 46

Using the same criteria as above

1. Barrichello 133
2. Button 110
3. Alonso 75
4. Montoya 68
5. Raikkonen 58
6. Trulli 58

I know this doesn't take into account how the driver develops the car etc, etc, but it does make you wonder if these drivers justify their salaries given that it's more about the car than the man.

If anyone has any particular years you'd like me to work out let me know.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
You've got two excellent cases there and two very different results:

The first is that Rubens would gave comfortably won the 2004 Championship for Ferrari had the other car been driven by Luca Badoer. Big surprise!

The second is that Patrese would have edged Schumacher in 1992, not taking into account the pressure that leading the Championship would bring.

So a driver with a decent record at the midfield constructors and a capacity to beat his team-mate on occasion (Barrichello) is better than a driver with a pretty poor record at some top and higher-end midfield teams.

To put another interesting question to the floor:

Do you think that Williams-Renault would have finished 4th in the Constructors' Championship in 1990 if their drivers were not Thierry Boutsen and Riccardo Patrese, and one of them was replaced by, say, Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell or Gerhard Berger?
 
Massa's $17 mill (excluding sponsorship and bonuses), makes it easier to understand his willingness to play second fiddle at Ferrari eh ?
Smedley....... "Ok, so, Fernando is faster than you.Can you confirm you understood that message ?"

Massa..... "Face ? bovvered ?"
 

Bushi

Pole Sitter
If Kimi is being payed $26,333,333 to drive a rally car, it's the most ludicrous thing I have ever heard of! :censored:

Considering his relatively modest achievements in F1 and fortuitous title, Kimi has to have been the most overpaid driver in the history of the sport.

I heard that Kimi still got paid by Ferrari for 2010.
 
J

johnnoble1990

Guest
Yeah, as i said above. Kimi's wages are from his last year of his contract with Ferrari not for rallying. The contract has finished now which is why it is somewhat surprising he didn't return to F1.

Also, like i said above, i think the reason certain drivers are paid so much is for their corporate identity as much as it is for their driving skill.
 

MCLS

Anti F1 fan
Valued Member
If Kimi wasn't paid as much I think we would have seen a better driver, particulary in his Ferrari years.
 

Jen

Here be dragons.
Contributor
If Kimi wasn't paid as much I think we would have seen a better driver, particulary in his Ferrari years.
Not sure how that works, MCLS - not sure that any of these guys are driven by the bucks alone.

For a while they all drive their hearts out - until reality kicks in.
 

MCLS

Anti F1 fan
Valued Member
Not sure how that works, MCLS - not sure that any of these guys are driven by the bucks alone.

For a while they all drive their hearts out - until reality kicks in.

Well there were a lot of times when he didn't look interested (second half 2008) , I wonder how much was down to the fact he knew he was getting a fat pay check
 

Jen

Here be dragons.
Contributor
Well there were a lot of times when he didn't look interested (second half 2008) , I wonder how much was down to the fact he knew he was getting a fat pay check
He had been a F1 driver since 2001, runner up in 2003 and 2005 and went to Ferrari in 2007 - where he won the WDC.

I think he was only interested in the racing - when his car was "sub-standard" or corporate duties were numerous, he lost interest.

I don't think he was ever motivated by the cheque - just a feeling.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
In fairness to Kimi I think Ferrari was the wrong team for him emotionally. They are the most corporate team in the very corporate world that is F1 today. Yes they gave him a title but is was fairly obvious he didn't enjoy being a Ferrari ambassador, he simply wanted to race cars. I think getting out when he did was probably the best thing.
 
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