With Formula One rolling into Imola this weekend for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the salaries of those fighting it out to be named world champion can now be revealed.
The two rivals look set to be the two drivers most likely to finish top of the standings come the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in December.
It is not only on the track where the Mercedes man has the Dutchman as his closest competitor, with the two also the highest-paid drivers on the grid.
This list, from Race Fans , is made up of the drivers’ base salaries, though they can earn salary-boosting bonuses by hitting performance-related objectives.
Hamilton signed a one-year deal to stay with the Silver Arrows ahead of the 2021 season, though his salary decreased from £28.70million per year to £21.90m.
23-year-old Verstappen meanwhile signed his current deal at the start of 2020, committing his future to Red Bull and taking home £18.27m per year.
The Dutchman has been given the best chance yet of challenging for the world title after a rule change and is one of the most exciting young talents on the grid.
Next, we go from one of the younger drivers on the grid to one of the oldest, with two-time world champion Fernando Alonso earning £14.60m after returning to the sport with Alpine.
Another multiple world champion sits just behind Alonso, with Sebastian Vettel signing a contract worth £10.90m to move from Ferrari to Aston Martin.
Joining Vettel on that salary is another driver who changed teams ahead of 2021, with Daniel Ricciardo inking a big-money move from Renault to McLaren.
After a hugely impressive debut season, Charles Leclerc was handed a contract extension in December 2019, which also gave him a bumper salary raise.
That rise took him ahead of last season's world championship runner-up Valtteri Bottas, who is paid nearly €2m less than the Ferrari man.
Though he is a former champion, it is perhaps a surprise that Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen is in the top eight highest paid drivers on the grid.
He is in fact paid more than Ferrari's second driver for this season Carlos Sainz, who joined the Scuderia from McLaren for 2021.
Rounding out the top 10 is Aston Martin's Lance Stroll, who is on a similar pay grade to Sainz.
Stroll's teammate last season was Sergio Perez, who was shockingly dropped in favour of Vettel before he secured a drive with Red Bull.
A driver who used to own that second seat at the Austrian team is Pierre Gasly, who at Alpha Tauri is earning slightly less than Perez.
On a similar pay grade to Gasly, who won last season's Italian Grand Prix, is Lando Norris, who is in his third season at McLaren.
The final driver to earn more than £1m is Esteban Ocon, who is in the final year of his contract at Alpine.
That means that six drivers, including George Russell, as well as rookies Mick Schumacher and Yuki Tsunoda are the lowest paid on the grid.
The yearly earnings of the 2021 F1 drivers (base salaries)
1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes: £21.9million
2. Max Verstappen, Red Bull: £18.27million
3. Fernando Alonso, Alpine: £14.6million
4. Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin: £10.9million
5. Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren: £10.9million
6. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari: £8.76million
7. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes: £7.3million
8. Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo: £7.3million
9. Carlos Sainz, Ferrari: £7.3million
10. Lance Stroll, Aston Martin: £7.3million
AFP via Getty Images)
11. Sergio Perez, Red Bull: £5.8million
12. Pierre Gasly, Alpha Tauri: £3.6million
13. Lando Norris, McLaren: £3.6million
14. Esteban Ocon, Alpine: £3.6million
15. George Russell, Williams: £730,800
James Moy Photography/PA Images)
16. Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo: £730,800
17. Mick Schumacher, Haas: £730,800
18. Nikita Mazepin, Haas: £730,800
19. Nicholas Latifi, Williams: £730,800
20. Yuki Tsunoda, Alpha Tauri: £364,900
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