Editorial credit: cristiano barni / Shutterstock.com
Considering the amount of money involved in Formula One racing, including the very high salaries of the top drivers, it is interesting to find out how other “lesser” mortals are paid. Team principals have arguably the hardest job in F1 and, surprisingly, do not earn massive salaries.
The amount that F1 team principals earn:
|Christian Horner||$10 million|
|Toto Wolff||$9.1 million|
|Mattia Binotto||$3 million|
|Andreas Seidl||$2 million|
The team principal and the drivers are the public faces of the organization. They wear many hats, including coordinating the FIA, engineering team, the drivers, sponsors (with their high profile guests), and managing the logistics while keeping the team motivated and on top of their game.
Who Are The Team Principals?
The principal of each Formula 1 team is:
- Red Bull – Christian Horner
- Mercedes – Toto Wolff
- Ferrari – Mattia Binotto
- McLaren – Andreas Seidl
- AlphaTauri – Franz Tost
- Alpine F1 – Otmar Szafnauer
- Williams – Jost Capito
- Alfa Romeo – Frederic Vasseur
- Aston Martin – Mike Krack
- Haas – Guenther Steiner
The following articles introduce the team principals and, where known, the amount they earn and their net worth.
Christian Horner – Red Bull
Christian Horner is reputed to be the highest-paid team principal on F1, and his salary has been stated as being $10 million per annum, and he has a net worth of $50 million.
Christian was born on 16 November 1973, and while he started his racing career in go-karts at 18 years old, he graduated to motor car racing when he won a Formula Renault scholarship in 1991.
In 1992 he won the final race in the British Formula Renault Championship and was the highest placed rookie.
In 1996 he moved to Formula Two, and then again in 1997 to Formula 3000 when he founded the Arden team.
He developed a relationship with Helmut Marko, who was the team principal of the Red Bull junior team in Formula 3000.
In 1998 he stepped back from driving after realizing he did not have the level of commitment needed to ascend to the top heights of the sport.
At age 25, he assumed a pure management role of the Arden team, and finally, in 2004, the Arden team won both the drivers and constructors’ championship in Formula 3000.
In 2005 Horner was as team principal of the Red Bull team. A the time of his appointment, he was the youngest ever team principal of a Formula One team.
The Red Bull team achieved its first podium finish in 2006 at Monaco.
In 2009 Red Bull came second in the constructor’s championship, and in 2010 they finally achieved the top position by winning both the constructors and drivers’ championship. They repeated this success for the next three years, which meant they had won four consecutive titles.
In 2021 their top driver, Max Verstappen, won the drivers championship, and Red Bill narrowly missed toppling the previously dominant Mercedes from its throne.
He is ruthless within the team, who “takes no prisoners” and doesn’t bow down to anyone.
Christian is married to ex-Spice Girls singer Geri Halliwell, who has a net worth of $40 million.
Toto Wolff – Mercedes
At $9.1 million, Toto Wolff’s salary is second only to Christian Horner’s, and he has a reputed net worth of $500 million.
Toto Wolff was born in 1972 and is arguably the most successful team principal in the history of Formula One racing, having won eight consecutive Formula 1 constructor championships.
Toto was a relatively late entrant to motorsport when, at age 20, he raced in the Austrian Formula Ford Championship.
Between 1992 and 2006, Toto drove in:
- Austrian Formula Ford Championship.
- German Formula Ford.
- 24 Hours Nürburgring (which he won in his category in 1994).
- FIA GT Championship.
- Italian GT Championship.
- Austrian Rally Championship.
- Dubai 24 Hour.
- Nürburgring Nordschleife.
In 2009 Toto purchased a share of the Williams Formula One Team.
In 2013 he left Williams F1 and became an executive director of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team, and in the process, acquired 30% equity 30% of Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.
In 2014 Toto took over the management responsibilities of the Mercedes F1 team and had overall responsibility for the Mercedes EQ Formula E and Mercedes Formula 2 teams.
Wolff remained a co-owner of both WilliamsF1 (where wife Susie Wolff was a test driver until November 2015) until he sold it to Dorilton Capital in August 2021.
2018 was notable because both the Mercedes F1 and F2 teams won the constructor and drivers (Lewis Hamilton – F1 and George Russel – F2) championship and won the drivers and constructors’ titles in the Formel E series.
In 2021 Mercedes celebrated its eighth consecutive F1 constructor championship.
Toto has led the F1 team to a remarkable 111 wins out of 164 races.
Separate to his racing activities, Toto is also a very successful investor, having founded investment companies.
- Marchfifteen in 1998.
- Marchsixteen in 2004.
Wolff owns equity in the following companies.
- 49% of German HWA AG, which developed F3 engines. It also developed the Gullwing Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 racing car.
- BRR Rallye Racing is one of the largest rally parts dealers in Europe.
- Co-owner of a sports management company.
- A 4.95% stake in Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings plc was reduced to under 1%.
Wolff speaks fluent German, English, French, Italian, Spanish, and Polish.
Mattia Binotto – Scuderia Ferrari
Mattia Binotto is reputed to earn $3 million per annum and a net worth of $5-6 million.
Mattia Binotto was born in 1969, and his background is in engineering, where he has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mechanical engineering.
In 1995 he joined the engine department of the Ferrari F1 team, and by 2016 he had assumed the title of chief technical officer (CTO) of Ferrari. In 2019 he was appointed as team principal.
Michael Schumacher joined Scuderia Ferrari in 1996, one year after Mattia Binotto joined the engine department. In 2000, Michael won the first of five straight Constructors’ and Drivers’ championships.
In 2007 Kimi Räikkönen was the last Scuderia Ferrari driver to win a world championship, and since then, Ferrari has languished behind Mercedes and Red Bull.
Mattia Binotto required task is to elevate the team’s performance to its previous winning ways.
In the 2022 F1 championship, finally, under Binotto’s leadership, Ferrari has regained its mojo and seems to be the primary competition for a resurgent Red Bull.
He is fluent in Italian, English, and French.
Andreas Seidl – McLaren
Andreas Seidl is reputed to earn $2 million per annum and a net worth of $6.5 million.
Andreas Seidl was born in 1976 and, like Mattia Binotto, entered motor racing as an engineer.
Seidl earned a diploma in mechanical engineering from the Technical University in Munich.
He entered the world of Formula One for a six-year stint at age 24 in 2000. During this time, he worked in the BMW engine department until BMW withdrew from Formula One.
BMW transferred him as team principal of the company’s DTM entry in 2012.
In 2013 Andreas left BMW and joined the Porsche LMP1 team as Race Operations Director, where he was promoted to team principal in 2014. Seidl led the team, securing two WEC titles with Brendon Hartley as the driver.
Seidl led Porsche’s program with the super successful Porsche 919 Hybrid from 2014 to the team’s retreat from the series at the end of 2017.
After 2017 he was placed in charge of Porsche’s E-Racing manufacture until his resignation in 2019 to join the McLaren F1 team.
On 1 May 2019, Andreas Seidl was appointed by Zak Brown (chairman of the McLaren F1 team) as team principal.
Franz Tost – AlphaTauri
Franz Tost, born on 20 January 1956, heads up the Alpha Tauri Formula 1 team.
While his salary has not been disclosed, it is estimated that his net worth is approximately $1.5 million.
He raced in both Formula Ford and Formula Three in his younger days.
He studied Sports Science and Management.
When he qualified, he was appointed racing director of the Walter Lechner Racing School based in Austria.
The racing school founded the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East and organized the series as a subcontractor of Porsche AG.
In 1993 he joined Willi Weber Management which managed notable racing drivers including.
- Seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher (until 2012).
- Ralf Schumacher (until November 2005).
- Nico Hülkenberg (until 2011).
- Timo Scheider.
When Ralph Schumacher joined the Williams Formula 1 team in 2000, Franz Tost followed him as Track Operations Manager working for Williams’ engine supplier BMW.
In 2006 the new Scuderia Toro Rosso team hired him as Team Principal. The team’s name has changed (now AlphaTauri); however, Trost has retained his position for 16 years.
Alpha Tauri is one of two teams owned by Red Bull GmbH, the other being 2021 driver championship winner Red Bull racing.
Otmar Szafnauer – Alpine F1
In January 2022, Marcin Budkowski was replaced by ex-Aston Martin employee Otmar Szafnauer.
Otmar Szafnauer was born in 1964 in Romania.
He has a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in business and finance.
In 1991 he started racing for Formula Ford in North America and remained driving until 1998, when he assumed the role of Operations Director at British American Racing in Formula One.
In 2001 he became Vice President of Honda Racing Developments. After leaving Honda in 2008, he launched a company called Soft Pauer which released the official Formula One Timing and Track Positioning Application on the iPhone.
He joined the Force India F1 team in October 2009 and remained with the team during a time when it was sold to Aston Martin. He left the company to join Alpine F1 in January 2022.
Unfortunately, as he is a recent appointment, little is known about Otmar Szafnauer’s salary or net worth.
Jost Capito – Williams
Jost Capito was born on 29 September 1958 and is reputed to earn $600,000 per annum and to have a net worth between $8 – $12 million.
From his first position in 1985 with BMW in their high-performance engine development sector, Capito has held many positions in motorsport, with his, arguably, most successful being Director of Motorsport at Volkswagen.
Volkswagen dominated in the World Rally Championship during his tenure, winning a hat-trick of both Drivers and Constructors Championships.
On 17 December 2020, Capito was appointed as the new CEO of the Williams Racing Formula One team.
Being the lowest ranking team, he has a big task to try and revive Williams’s former race-winning glory.
Frederic Vasseur – Alfa Romeo
Frederic Vasseur was born on 28 May 1968 and is reputed to earn $500,000 per annum. No disclosures of his net worth are available.
Vasseur graduated with a degree in aeronautics and engineering from the École supérieure des techniques aéronautiques et de construction automobile (ESTACA).
With Renault as a partner, he founded the ASM Formula 3 team in 1996 and won the championship in 1998.
In 2004, he partnered with Nicolas Todt and formed the ART Formula two team, which won the championship with drivers Nico Rosberg in 2005 and Lewis Hamilton in 2006.
In 2017 he joined Sauber, which would become the Alfa Romeo team in 2022.
Frederic Vasseur maintains an intensely personal life with his wife and four children. Frederic Vasseur keeps an intensely personal life, and little is made public outside of his F1 activities.
Mike Krack – Aston Martin
Mike Krack was born on 18 March 1972, and unfortunately, no details of his salary or net worth have been published.
Mike started his F1 career in 1998 when he joined BMW as a test engineer.
He joined Sauber and ultimately was appointed Chief Engineer of the team.
In 2008 he left the team and spent the intervening years contributing to various levels of the sport.
- Formula 3.
- The World Endurance Championship.
- Formula E.
Following Otmar Szafnauer’s departure to Alpine F1, Mike Krack was appointed as team principal of the Aston Martin Formula One Team for the 2022 season.
Günther Steiner – Haas
Günther Steiner was born on 7 April 1965 and is reputed to have a net worth of $4.75 million.
His salary at Haas has not been disclosed.
Günther started to study engineering but failed to complete the degree.
After leaving university, he traveled to Belgium and worked as a team mechanic for the European Mazda World Rally Championship Team Europe.
He remained for two years, from 1986 to 1988.
After a few technical roles in other racing disciplines, he joined the team principal for the Jaguar F1 team in 2001.
In 2005 Günther Steiner joined the Red Bull F1 team as technical operations director. He worked closely with Christian Horner in 2005 and then requested a move to help establish a NASCAR team in the United States.
Steiner stayed as Red Bull’s technical director until April 2008.
In 2009 he started his own company and, following a series of events, ended up being appointed team principal of the new Haas F1 Team.
Steiner remains in this role.
Apart from a few specific instances, the amount which F1 Team Principals Earn is generally held confidential. Being a moneyed sport and understanding the critical roles they play in the success of an F1 team, they certainly are considered to be well paid.
While the top drivers earn up to $60 million per annum, the team principals’ costs are paltry by comparison.