He may not yet have agreed terms on a new Mercedes F1 contract, but Lewis Hamilton is hardly crying over his last few pennies, after he was once again revealed to be Britain’s richest sportsman.
The reigning world champion tops a list replete with golfers and football players, having seen his reported wealth jump by £20m, to £88m, in the past year. Hamilton’s closest rival on the list is Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, who comes in at £72m, with Hamilton’s former McLaren team-mate, Jenson Button, getting some consolation for his frustrating 2015 campaign with third place in the pecking order, on £71m.
The ranking, provided by the Sunday Times Rich List, reveals the wealth of the 1000 richest people in Britain and the 250 richest people in Ireland, based on identifiable wealth, including land, property, other assets such as art and racehorses, or significant shares in publicly quoted companies. Notably, however, it excludes bank accounts, to which the newspaper has no access.
Hamilton’s position could be strengthened ahead of the 2016 ranking, with a reported £27m contract on offer from Mercedes and, by living in tax exile in Monaco, Hamilton gets to keep much of what he earns.
Button, meanwhile, might be wishing that he hadn’t pushed quite so hard for the right to drive the latest McLaren given the reliability woes that prevented from even starting last weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix, but those problems will have been salved by an £8m jump in his fortune, mirroring this year’s salary from the Woking team.
The top five is completed by 2013 Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, whose success has resulted in a string of lucrative endorsements and the ability to invest heavily in property, and QPR footballer Rio Ferdinand, who status owes much to his previous employment as part of Manchester United’s all-conquering line-up. At £48m and £44m respectively, however, the pair lag a long way behind the top three.