What do F1 drivers drive off the track?28 Jul 2021
This month, Formula One legend Lewis Hamilton won the British Grand Prix for the eighth time, in front of a crowd of 140,000. Although the victory firmly cements his place in the list of best-ever Formula One drivers, it was a race that will likely go down in the annals of F1 history for all the wrong reasons, after his crash with Verstappen saw his main challenger hospitalised and the rival Red Bull team looking at a repair bill of £1.3m, placing them in danger of grid penalties for exceeding budget and repair limits. But have you ever wondered what F1 greats like Hamilton and Verstappen drive when they’re off the track? We take a closer look.
It’s no surprise that the king of British motorsport has a penchant for British motors. And given his value, it’s also not a shock that he is famous for his collection of performance cars, which is worth millions. Despite his interest in racing, it should be noted that Hamilton is increasingly environmentally conscious and this is reflected in both his collection and his driving habits off the track.
Among the Brit’s collection are two Ferrari LaFerrari cars, the first mild hybrid produced by the iconic Ferrari marque, a purple Pagani Zonda 760 LH made specifically for Hamilton (hence the LH), a 1966 Shelby 427 Cobra and a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupe Black Series. However, Hamilton’s knows where his loyalty truly lies – with his $1.15 million McLaren P1.
Lewis Hamilton’s strongest challenger Max Verstappen, fondly known as the Flying Dutchman, famously began road driving in a Renault Clio – although he was underage at the time and therefore hardly got to use it. Despite having a long-standing affection for less glamorous cars – his favourite being the Volkswagen Golf – he has amassed quite the collection over the years.
This includes the impressive Renault Sport R.S. 01, an Aston Martin Vantage and a Porsche 911 GT3 RS supercar – which the young champion needed his father and manager’s permission to buy after his maiden victory in 2016.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo is a fierce competitor for Hamilton on the track – and by all accounts, is equally competitive when it comes to his private car collection, which is enough to give Hamilton a run for his money. Although Ricciardo learnt to drive in a modest Mini Cooper and went on to buy a Toyota Hilux as his first car in 2006, his taste is a little more refined these days.
The car connoisseur’s collection is now said to include an 875 horsepower Porsche 918 Spyder, a Porsche 911 GT3 RS and an Aston Martin Valkyrie. In an apparent homage to his first car, however, he does also own a Ford F-150 Raptor pick-up truck.
Germany’s Vettel has been an avid collector since his success on the track first gave him some spending power and he has since amassed a fleet of sportscars. These include historic F1 machines such as Ayrton Senna McLaren and Nigel Mansell’s 1992 F1 world championship-winning Williams.
However, he recently decided to slim down his Swiss-based collection by putting eight cars up for sale in February this year. These included a 2016 Ferrari LaFerrari, a 2004 Ferrari Enzo, 1996 Ferrari F50, a 2016 Ferrari F12TDF, a 2015 Ferrari 458 Speciale, a 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series, a 2010 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG and a 2002 BMW Z8 Roadster. And apparently, those are just the motors he doesn’t want anymore!
Of course, he may have now left Formula One, but it would be a huge disservice to the sport not to give him a mention in this list of legends, given he enjoyed an 18-year career in F1, during which he earned a reputation for his flamboyant lifestyle.
Over the years he is known to have owned a Ferrari 355 GTS, a Ferrari F40, a Bugatti Veyron, a Ferrari Enzo (which he famously described on Top Gear as ‘cumbersome and lazy’), a Porsche 911 GT2 RS and a McLaren P1. He also famously once bought two original VW Camper Vans, at least one of which he reportedly still owns.
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