Formula One enthusiasts, Lewis Hamilton's famed Mercedes F1 car, the vehicle that carried him to his maiden victory for the team, has set a remarkable record. At an auction held by RM Sotheby’s on November 17 in Las Vegas, the car fetched an astounding $18.8 million. The hammer price reached $17.1 million, with an additional 10% buyer’s premium.
This transaction unfolded amidst the lively atmosphere of the Awakening Theater at the Wynn Las Vegas Hotel during the inaugural F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix.
The spirited auction took place in a round theatre filled with an animated audience, treated to a dance performance and witty remarks by British comedian James Corden. This sale marks the highest publicly recorded amount for any modern F1 car. RM Sotheby’s had initially projected a value ranging from $10 million to $15 million for the iconic vehicle.
Hamilton had piloted this particular car to victory in the 2013 Hungarian Grand Prix.
Notably, it stands as the sole Mercedes F1 vehicle from the modern era that does not belong to Mercedes, team principal Toto Wolff, or Hamilton himself, as confirmed by the auction house. The owner of the car, identified by its chassis No. W04, remained undisclosed at the time of the auction.
Shelby Myers, RM Sotheby’s global head of private sales, drew a parallel between Hamilton's connection to the W04 and the iconic bonds between legendary athletes and their teams.
Myers remarked, “It can only be compared to Jordan and the Bulls, Brady and the Patriots, or Messi and Argentina.”
The W04 now joins the growing trend of retired race cars gaining popularity among private collectors. Michael Schumacher's Ferrari F2001 sold for $7.5 million at auction in 2017 through RM Sotheby's. Two years later,