Who earns more: NASCAR or F1?
By Keith Donnelly - December 30, 2022

The racing industry’s finances are extremely complicated and, in some situations, contain sensitive information. However, Formula 1 drivers earn more money than NASCAR drivers. Top-tier NASCAR drivers make substantially less money than the highest-paid Formula 1 drivers. Numerous Formula 1 drivers consistently make it onto Forbes’ list of the top 60 highest-paid athletes in the world, yet no NASCAR driver has ever cut. But the solution is not that easy. The ways that NASCAR and F1 drivers make money and the opportunities they have to pursue them are marginally different.


Drivers in NASCAR make good money every year, especially the most successful ones. First, the teams that NASCAR drivers race for pays them a wage. This can range from $50,000 for entry-level drivers to more than $15 million for seasoned drivers like Kyle Busch. Second, race winnings provide drivers with income. Winning races can increase drivers’ profits on low-paying rides significantly. A driver’s take-home pay increases with their performance in each race. Depending on the event, drivers in the top three can earn more than $1 million, while teams often retain at least 50% of the winnings. However, drivers can make $500,000 or more for a single race.

The best and most well-known racers can make a few million dollars annually through licensing and endorsements, the final two income methods. Even the least skilled drivers with wages of roughly $50,000 have numerous options to enhance their incomes thanks to all these revenue streams. Like NASCAR drivers, F1 drivers also make a living by racing. However, they don’t disclose their wages or incentives. Through sponsorships and endorsements, they also earn millions more. There aren’t as many chances for drivers to claim prize money in Formula 1 because the season only contains 23 races compared to NASCAR’s 38. F1 has also recently lacked significant parity, with a select few drivers winning most of the races. The parity in NASCAR is better, with more than 10 different drivers usually taking home victories throughout the season.