Renault makes Alonso highest-paid driver, will earn $2.6 mil per race

Back in the 2005 and 2006 Formula One seasons, Fernando Alonso thoroughly trounced Michael Schumacher for the title. Since then, however, Alonso hasn't beaten many of Schumacher's records, but the two-time champion can now rest easy – in a big, solid gold chair – knowing that he's finally making more than Schumi.

Although finances in F1, as we've reported before, are secrets as closely guarded as technical breakthroughs, reports now indicate that Alonso's deal to return to Renault has made him the most highly-paid driver in or out of F1. If the reports are to be believed, Alonso will make $46 million this season. That's only from his contract with Renault and does not include assuredly lucrative sponsorship deals, and only stands if Alonso stays for a second year. The amount is a symbolic $1 million more than what arch-rival Kimi Raikkonen reportedly makes at Ferrari and more than double what his former team-mate Lewis Hamilton pulled in last year driving for McLaren. In fact, Hamilton reportedly resigned with McLaren for $138 million over the next five years, which breaks down to $27.6 million per year or $1.53 million per race in 2008. Alonso will be earning $2.55 million per race this year, and if renewed for next year will beat even the lucrative $86 million two-year offer Schumacher got to stay at Ferrari through 2008.

[Source: F1-Live, Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty]

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