• Net values

Drivers top the rich list

ESPNF1 Staff
May 2, 2010 « 'The real show starts now' - Alonso | »
It's not much but we like to call it home - Johnny Dumfries © Getty Images
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Motor racing dominated the annual Sunday Times Sport Rich List, the guide to the wealthiest figures in British sport.

Ten of the top 15 come from motor sport, but the ten who make the grade are not as obvious as they might seem.

McLaren team-mates Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton come in at 10th and 14th, with Button worth as estimated £40 million, proving his gamble on taking a pay cut to stay at Brawn last season was a brilliant financial and career move. His £6 million annual salary will help boost his value.

Hamilton has a five-year contract worth an estimated £75 million plus high-income endorsements which Sports Illustrated valued at £18.7 million per annum. "Money doesn't really appeal, " he once said. His decision to ditch Britain and live in tax-friendly Switzerland has only helped his worth.

Top of the ten, and third overall, is John Colum Crichton-Stuart, Earl of Dumfries, known commonly as Johnny Bute but even better known as former racing driver Johnny Dumfries. His £110 million estate was inherited, and his F1 exploits only served to dent its worth.

Eddie Irvine is in fifth at £80 million thanks to shrewd property investment of the £40 million he earned in his F1 career. He owns a sports complex in Bangor and an Irish paper importing company.

One place lower is South African Jody Scheckter, who now lives in Hampshire, and who made his money selling a company he had built up providing hardware for weapons training in the USA. He is now an organic farmer worth an estimated £60 million.

Seventh is Dave Richards, who made his £58 million fortune in automotive engineering consultancy and also dabbled in F1 with Benetton and BAR. In 2007 he led a consortium which took over Aston Martin.

In eighth is F1 driver turned pundit David Coulthard, but he earned more from selling his 70% stake in the Colombus hotel in Monaco than he did in his racing career. He is worth around £50 million. He is tied with Nigel Mansell, who earned £45 million from his racing career and another £14 million from the sale of a country club

Sir Jackie Stewart is in 11th. His income while driving was substantial by the standards of the day, but not now. Nevertheless, shrewd investments and the sale of the Stewart Racing Team to Ford for around £50 million helped him to an estimated value of £41 million.

Languishing in 14th with a paltry £36 million is the relatively unknown outside the USA Dario Franchitti who made a name for himself in IndyCar and NASCAR. Married to actress Ashley Judd, he also has substantial property investments.

Further down the field is Jonathan Palmer (17th= £33m) , Damon Hill (35th= £30m), and IndyCar star Dan Wheldon from Buckinghamshire ( 81st= £10m).

To put all this in perspective, Michael Schumacher is estimated to be worth £515 million.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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