IT’S a nail-biting job, but being a team principal in the world’s most expensive sport certainly comes with some incredible perks.
Just ask Formula 1 bosses Toto Wolff and Christian Horner, who have millions in their bank accounts and enjoy the finer things in life.
Principals are the face of their teams and the decision makers who come up with strategies to ensure the success of their drivers.
And ahead of the Saudi Arabia GP, the pressure is on Toto and Mercedes as they look to claw back points, after reigning champ Max Verstappen crossed the line first in Bahrain.
This season a few new principals joined the familiar faces around the paddock.
Ahead of Jeddah, we take a look at the richest people at the helm of F1 teams.
MORE ON F1
Toto Wolff – 478m
With a staggering estimated £478million in his coffers, the Mercedes – AMG Petronas boss is currently the richest team principal on the grid.
He’s also the second-highest paid, taking home £7.6million a year.
The Austrian, 51, who started off as a racing driver himself, owns a 33 per cent stake in the Mercedes team, as well as being its managing director and executive director.
Many critics and fans have attributed much of Mercedes’ success to him – under his watch, the team has notched up 114 wins.
Most read in Motorsport
He’s also been instrumental in the career of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, considered two of the greatest drivers of all time.
Off the grid, Toto is married to Susie, a Scottish former racing driver, and they share two kids.
Christian Horner – £41.4m
As team principal of Red Bull since 2005, Christian Horner is the highest-paid team boss and has a salary of around £8.2million a year.
He’s got the trophies to show for it, as he’s successfully led the team to nine world titles.
Like Toto, he started off as a driver and had some success in the late 90s – even founding his own team, but ended his driving career in 1998 at just 25.
Christian worked in team management before joining Red Bull in 2004 and ascending to the top within a year. He’s now worth an estimated £41.4m.
Away from the grid, the Englishman is married to Spice Girl Geri and they share two homes, in Oxfordshire and Hertfordshire.
Their Oxfordshire property is breathtaking, boasting an indoor swimming pool, a pond for boating and huge grounds where they go horse riding.
Otmar Szafnauer – £4.1m
Although he’s the most experienced team principal, having been in the sport since 1989, Otmar’s salary is considerably less than Toto and Christian’s.
As the boss of Alpine, a position he has held since 2002, he is paid around £822,500, and worth an estimated £4.1m.
Like many other principals on the grid, he also had a short stint as a driver back in the early 90s.
But it was his work away from the driver’s seat that brought him into the limelight.
After working as Operations Director at British American Racing, he joined Force India in 2009, which later rebranded as Aston Martin.
Franz Tost – £4.1m
Franz Tost also has a ton of experience under his belt – he’s been the team principal at AlphaTauri since 2005.
The 67-year-old was appointed after Red Bull took over Minardi, and is the oldest team principal on the grid today.
Before that, he was a driver and even won the Formula Ford 1600 title in 1983.
He quit a few years later and worked his way up the ranks of team management.
Franz was first signed by Williams and remained there for five years before leaving for Red Bull.
As one of the longest-tenured team principals on the grid, he is paid £822,500 a year, and worth around £4.1m.
James Vowles – £4.1m
This is Englishman James’ first season as Williams’ team principal after serving as Mercedes’ motorsport strategy director.
He made his Formula 1 debut as an engineer for the Honda racing team before moving on as a strategist for Brawn GP.
James joined Williams at the end of 2022 and at the age of 44, is one of the youngest team principals on the grid, with an estimated £4.1million fortune.
James has a motorsport degree from Cranfield University – a qualification which is uncommon for bosses at F1.
He also likes to dabble in driving, making an appearance at last year’s Asian Le Mans Series.
Guenther Steiner – £4.1m
Guenther, 57, is one of the most colourful team principals Formula 1 has ever seen, as evidenced by his appearance in Netflix’s Drive to Survive.
He has been at the helm of Haas since 2014 after previously serving as managing director of Jaguar and technical operations director at Red Bull.
The Italian American began his career as a mechanic in Belgium for the Mazda Rally Championships.
While at Red Bull, he was contacted to build the Haas team from scratch, which has helped him build up an impressive £4.1million fortune, approximately.
He is paid £822,500 a year for his work as the team’s leader.
Alessandro Alunni Bravi – £4.1m
Last year Alfa Romeo decided to move away from the team principal formula and introduced a management structure to oversee the team.
One of the members of the management team includes Alessandro Alunni Bravi, who is worth an estimated £4.1million.
The 49-year-old Italian, who is also a qualified lawyer, has the new position of Team Representative and will perform most of the roles of a principal when dealing with F1 bosses and sponsors.
He was previously the team principal of the trident GP2 team and has served as a board member of Sauber since 2017.
Frederic Vasseur – £2.5m
The new Ferrari boss has built up a wealth of experience as the principal of teams like Renault, Alfa Romeo and Sauber.
The 54-year-old Frenchman studied aeronautics and founded his own team in 1996 which went on to win several trophies in the junior formulae.
Frederic is credited for overseeing Lewis Hamilton’s success in the Formula 3 Euroseries and helping him to win GP2 titles in the mid-2000s.
Last year it was announced he would be replacing Mattia Binotto as the boss of Ferrari.
Although he’s now worth an estimated £2.5million, it’s probably only a matter of time before this figure shoots up as he will be paid £5.2million in his new role.
Andrea Stella – £1.2m
Andrea Stella will most likely see a boost to his estimated £1.2million net worth thanks to his lucrative £5.2million-a-year role at McLaren.
The 52-year-old Italian was announced as Andreas Seidl’s replacement following his decision to leave the team after a four-season run.
Andrea’s appointment is an internal promotion as he previously served as the team’s executive director.
He’s got an impressive history to back up his eye-watering salary – he has worked with some of the greatest drivers including Michael Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso.
Mike Krack – £800k
Mike Krack has overseen the Aston Martin team since 2002 and is reportedly worth over £800,000.
He replaced Otmar Szafnauer in the team and is set to take home around £822,500 a year, which will surely boost his bank balance.
The 50-year-old engineer from Luxembourg previously worked with Sebastian Vettel for a year from 2006, when the racer began his career.
Read More on The Sun
He’s also worked in Formula 3 and has moved between teams like BMW and Porsche.
Mike recently defended driver Lance Stroll – son of the Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll – claiming he is “strongly undervalued”.
Source: Motorsport - thesun.co.uk