Max Verstappen has been named as the third-highest paid sports star aged 25 or under by financial experts Forbes.
The Dutchman signed a huge new deal with Red Bull last year, tying him down until the end of the 2028 season. It also made him the highest-paid driver in Formula 1 as he zoomed past Lewis Hamilton on that list with a successful 2022 championship campaign.
In a newly-announced list, Forbes estimates that there are only two global sports stars aged 25 or under who now earn more than Verstappen. The Dutchman, 25, is believed to have raked in more than £48m in salary over the past 12 months along with a further £3.25m in “off-field” earnings.
But he is not the top earner in the category. That title goes to Kylian Mbappe, whose Paris Saint-Germain contract guarantees him an obscene amount of cash. With bonuses, the 24-year-old Frenchman is believed to have earned more than £80m in wages over the last year – augmented by another £16m from sponsors.
Sandwiched between the World Cup winner and double F1 world champion is Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray. His salary over the past 12 months is estimated at £54m, with another £2.8m from other endeavours.
Verstappen’s total puts him above fourth-placed Erling Haaland, whose earnings have risen dramatically with his move to Manchester City. The Norwegian goal machine is believed to have earned £32.5m in wages over the last year, as well as an extra £10m from sponsorship deals including a lucrative association with Nike.
Those figures put Haaland slightly ahead of Luka Doncic. The NBA star rounds off the top five thanks to his £30m salary and the extra £6.5m he earns from sponsors – most notably the Nike Jordan brand.
In an analysis of F1 drivers’ earnings published last November, Verstappen was estimated to have earned £49.8m in salary alone across an incredibly successful 2022 season. That put him above Hamilton, who did not win a race and so did not achieve as many performance bonuses as his rival.
Unsurprisingly, Verstappen and Hamilton were comfortably clear of the rest of the drivers on the grid when it comes to earnings from F1. Fernando Alonso was third on the list but a long way off the top two, having earned a £24.9m base salary with Alpine.