Calling Lewis Hamilton a racing prodigy is an understatement. In 14 years, the Brit has competed in 270 Grands Prix, coming out top in more than a third of those with 98 wins (seven more than his closest competitor, the now-retired Michael Schumacher) and a further 71 podium finishes. The seven-time F1 World Champion is a tour de force for change and wears many, many hats. He’s a fashion designer, social advocate, cultural icon, long-time vegan and musician who released his debut album just last year before being knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.
In short, he’s had an exemplary racing career and a very interesting life. Now, for the first time, you could own a part of both. Formula 1 and Canadian automobile auctioneers RM Sotheby’s have put up the 2010 Mclaren Mercedes MP4-25A Formula 1 race car for auction. It’s the first time any F1 race car driven by Hamilton, not to mention a Grand Prix winning car, has been under the hammer.
Fittingly, it’s to take place at the 2021 British Grand Prix weekend at the historic Silverstone circuit, home-ground for the feted Briton. Just to make it a little more special, the team are planning to auction the car at speed. That is, making laps at 240kmh, with a live audience to boot. Bidding, we presume, will take place right after (unless shouting’s involved, or when the car’s at the far end of the track) with pre-approved online, telephone and limited in-person buyers.
(Related: Is virtual racing the future of motorsports?)
Race winner Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/25 crosses the finish line.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Turkish Grand Prix, Race, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Sunday 30 May 2010.
For a bit of history, the 2010 MP4-25A racer crossed the finish line ahead of its peers at the Turkish, Canadian and Belgian Grands Prix that season, securing Hamilton a placing in fourth that year.
It’s been appraised at US$5 to 7 million (S$6.7 to 9.30 million), but that’s before any bidding takes place. Just for reference, Ayrton Senna’s final Monaco-winning Mclaren MP4/8A was sold by Bonham’s three years ago for US$5 million – making this appraisal a rather pricey one, especially for a modern vehicle.
That said, we reckon car collectors and other well-heeled bidders are more than likely to leap at the chance to get their hands on the Mclaren MP4-25A, Chassis No 1 still in its as-raced silver-and-red, Vodafone-sponsored livery. Says global head of Private Sales at RM Sotheby’s Shelby Myers: “The McLaren represents the very pinnacle of performance and its desirability is virtually unmatched as simply no other Lewis Hamilton cars have changed hands. An incredibly exciting opportunity made even more exhilarating by the manner in which the car will be sold.”
It’s a car that can still be track-driven and will continue to be supported by the marques’ individual heritage departments, so there’s always a chance to put the race car through its paces once more.
For more, click here.