Max Verstappen defends F1 driver salaries after "insane" proposal

Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen has stoutly rejected the idea of a salary cap for drivers.

The Red Bull star is believed to earn $25million (around £21million) per year. That makes him the second-best paid driver on the grid behind seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton, who is reportedly paid around £32million per annum.

F1 recently installed a cost cap, although it does not cover drivers’ salaries, meaning there is no limit to what they can be paid at present. It has recently been suggested that a drivers’ salary cap should be implemented too in a further attempt to control expenditure.

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But the suggestion has not gone well with Verstappen, who said the proposal would not just impact current F1 stars, but the financial backers of young drivers coming through the junior categories.

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“For me, it’s insane,” he said during a joint-interview with Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez for LADBibleTV. “It’s not only hurting us in F1, but nowadays drivers are either backed by an F1 team or by personal sponsors, who are investing in these young drivers’ careers.

“They almost always expect a return or at least a percentage of their future income. But if you start to cap their future income, they are not [going to be] that interested in supporting them throughout all the categories. And nowadays it is so expensive going through all the categories to get to Formula 1. It will hurt a lot of the lower categories.

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“For me, it’s very unfair. The sport now, in general, is booming. Everyone is now making a lot more money, including of course the organisation, the teams. Everybody is becoming profitable and then suddenly the drivers, who actually make the show and risk their lives, are capped. For me, that just makes no sense.”

Perez, unsurprisingly, agreed with his teammate, adding: “The drivers are ones who are risking their lives out there, putting the show together.

“The sport is at its best. Everyone is making the most money ever, so why should you cut the drivers? I don’t think that’s correct.”

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