Nobody can objectively be worth £40million, not in a world where so many have next to nothing. But the widely reported figure for the potential value, including bonuses, of Lewis Hamilton's new Mercedes contract raises the question of whether a racing driver can really be worth what many would call an obscene sum of money.
The world is clearly not objective, though, so this is always going to be a largely subjective debate. But once we accept that we live in a global society of enormous inequality and set aside the ethical arguments on the rights and wrongs of that, the question then moves on to what the driver can contribute to a team for that spend.
The driver's primary purpose is, axiomatically, to drive. Yes, they have an impact when it comes to development direction and feedback, but item one on the driver's task list is to extract as close as possible to 100% of a car's potential.