Ready, set, go: Race through Lewis Hamilton’s impressive net worth
Move out of the way, Lewis Hamilton is coming through. The thirty-six-year-old British Formula One driver has had a phenomenal couple of years. In 2019 he became the second driver in history to win six Formula One championships. In 2020 he won for a seventh time, tying his number of wins with world champion Michael Schumacher. He also started a new contract that pays him $40 million a year.
Lewis Hamilton ranks at number thirteen on Forbes’s list of the highest paid athletes in 2020. Racing might not seem like it has the mainstream appeal of football or basketball, but it’s certainly a lucrative sport for those that can cut it. Lewis Hamilton is one of those. We’ll take a quick look at his career to see how he built a net worth of hundreds of millions.
Lewis Hamilton was born on January 7th, 1985. Hamilton’s interest in racing began at an early age when as a child, he played with remote controlled cars. He finished second at the British Radio Car Association championship when he was only seven years old. Behind the wheel or on the sidelines, Hamilton knows racing in & out.
He signed up with the McLaren young driver program in 1998 when he was thirteen. There he spent years training & practicing to become a champion driver. In 2007, he officially joined McLaren’s Formula One team. That season, he came in second place behind Kimi Räikkönen. The next year he won the Formula One World Championship for the very first time.
Growing fame, growing controversy
All throughout his career, Lewis Hamilton has had to bear the brunt of heavy criticism and scrutiny. He pulls daring moves on the track and tends to make daring comments when he’s off the track. He’s also the first to admit that his competitive nature can sometimes lead to conflict.
Another reason behind the hyper-critical approach some take to Hamilton is the color of his skin. He is the first, and as of right now only, Black driver in Formula One. While racing in Spain in 2008, Formula One fans there booed Hamilton and called out racial slurs.
Hamilton has dealt with the hate by winning, over and over again. In 2013 he left McLaren and signed to drive for Mercedes. Since then, he’s hit a hot streak. Hamilton won the Formula One championship in 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. If he takes the championship this year, he’ll have won more times than any other driver in history.
Where’s the money?
Lewis Hamilton’s net worth is currently estimated at $285 million. Most, but not all, of that money has come from racing. Between 2016 and 2019, Hamilton earned roughly $150 million from endorsements and prize money alone.
His newest contract extension with Mercedes is incredibly lucrative. Hamilton signed a two-year deal that began in 2019. His salary is $42 million a year, and in 2020 Hamilton earned $12 million in endorsements on top of that.
Hamilton has been smart enough to diversify his income with his non-racing interests. In 2018 he partnered with fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger to launch his own clothing line. They call it TOMMYXLEWIS, and it offers Hamilton a boon to his income as well as an outlet for genuinely creative impulses.
Hamilton also has extensive real estate investments. He owns property in London, Monaco, and Geneva. He used to own an apartment in New York City, but he sold it in 2019 for a cool $57 million.
His other income streams do nothing to lessen Hamilton’s focus on racing. He’s still in contract with Mercedes, and this year’s season has just kicked off with Hamilton currently in the lead. One more championship could boost Lewis Hamilton’s already unimaginable net worth while also giving him a world record. We’ll have to wait and see what 2021 has in store.