Kiwi Brendon Hartley's potential Formula 1 drive could see him become one of New Zealand's highest paid sportsmen.

Formula 1 salaries range from $100,000 to almost $60 million-plus per season depending on the driver and the situation.

Hartley has been tipped to take the seat at next week's US Grand Prix in Austin with the Toro Rosso team but is also rumoured to be in the running for a fulltime drive with the Red Bull-owned team next year.

Ferrari's Sebastien Vettel is the sport's highest earner - he will collect in excess of £33m ($61m) this year in guaranteed money while he stands to make around half that again in performance bonuses (though a drivers' title win is now looking extremely unlikely).

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Lewis Hamilton also sits among the best paid, with the Mercedes driver on a basic yearly salary of £20.9m ($38m), although win bonuses could see him take home up to £28m ($40m).

But from those lofty figures there's a significant drop down in salaries paid to other top 10 drivers, with Mercedes Valtteri Bottas collecting $8.5 million (including bonuses), Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen on $7 million (without bonuses), and Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo - $6.5 million (plus bonuses).

Not everybody has it so good, however, once you get down towards the bottom end of the top 20 rankings, where the likes of Sauber's Pascal Wehrlein and Force India's Esteban Ocon scratch out a living on base contracts worth between $150,000 and $185,000.

Sure, they're hardly driving on Struggle Street, but it's a far cry from the riches that fans imagine all Formula 1 drivers enjoy.