Why does a dominant team like Mercedes need to pay $50 million to their number one driver? In my opinion modern day racing performance largely depends on the car, and little on the driver's skills. I think all the top 10 drivers today can all get 1st or 2nd place in the race if they are in a Mercedes. Hypothetically even if Mercedes pays $1 to their drivers, still many drivers would like to take the seat and win the race. The team can better spend the $50 million on getting the best engineers and make the car even faster. The same holds for Ferrari and Red Bulls. Leclerc is a perfect example, costing way less than Vettel and performs on similar level. In my opinion the salary bargaining power is entirely at the team side as the top seats are limited, potentially only 6 seats that can win a race. Are you afraid that Hamilton might leave Mercedes if he can only get 1$ salary? To where can he go and win another race?