Michael Schumacher Mercedes GPEnlarge Photo
As World Car Fans points out, the only professional athlete to best Schumacher’s earnings is golfer Tiger Woods, who has amassed some $869 million over the course of his career, without ever once donning a Nomex suit or putting a car into a wall at speed (and no, driving an Escalade into a tree doesn’t count).
Both Woods and Schumacher have pulled comfortable leads over other top-ranked athletes, including Michael Jordan ($516 million), Roger Federer ($316 million) and David Beckham ($258 million).
Next up for Formula 1 drivers would be Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, both of whom have earned an estimated $161 million, although we’re not sure if that total factors in Alonso’s new Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8.
If you’re looking for the career earnings of other current F1 stars, Lewis Hamilton has raked in some $89 million, with teammate Jenson Button amassing $85 million. That’s quite a bit more than David Coulthard or Nigel Mansell (both at $80 million) and it eclipses the total earned by safety pioneer Jackie Stewart over the course of his career ($67 million).
The real money, however, isn’t in driving. Formula 1 czar Bernie Ecclestone has earned about $4 billion over his lengthy career, which explains his taste for two-million-euro Hublot watches.