NASCAR star Jeff Gordon has offered to take a pay cut to ease the strain on his team during the financial crisis:
I’ll do whatever it takes for us to have the best team we can possibly have. If that means take part of my salary to keep certain people on… I would be open to it. I never got into this to make millions of dollars.
Is it time Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton and F1’s other big earners followed Gordon’s lead?
The exact sums earned by F1’s top drivers are often speculated on but rarely known for certain. However the elite F1 drivers certainly command eight-figure salaries, and that goes for world champions Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso plus many of their rivals.
Max Mosley wants to cut F1 teams’ budgets to $20-40m – around a tenth of what they are now. But if that’s going to happen, surely the drivers will have to take pay cuts?
Frank Williams is sceptical about that ever happening:
Drivers?óÔé¼Ôäó salaries are the one major snag, an area not addressed in the teams?óÔé¼Ôäó unified decision to reduce spending. If McLaren don?óÔé¼Ôäót want to pay Hamilton ?é?ú15m, then someone else will. Any suggestion of a gentleman?óÔé¼Ôäós agreement on this would never happen.
It seems to me the only way this would happen would be if the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association agreed all its members would offer to take pay cuts. And even then it wouldn’t have much of an effect on drivers who are expected to bring money to their teams, such as whoever Toro Rosso puts in its cars next year.
Are F1’s mega-salaries here to stay? Which F1 drivers are overpaid? Have your say in the comments.