The car Lewis Hamilton won his first race for Mercedes in has sold for a whopping £15million at auction.
It’s hard to believe now, given he has stormed to six F1 titles with the Silver Arrows, but Hamilton was taking a giant leap of faith by leaving the race-winning McLaren team at the end of 2012. After Mercedes bought the Brawn squad which defied the odds to win both titles in 2009, they had endured three tough seasons with Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher in the car.
However, with the new era looming in 2014, Hamilton felt Mercedes was a team on the up. The year before was a building year for the Brackley-based squad, with a few high moments.
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Rosberg took two wins to Hamilton’s one, which came at the Hungarian Grand Prix. That exact car, chassis #4, has gone under the hammer this weekend in Las Vegas as the ‘Capital of Entertainment’ hosted F1 for the first time since the early 1980s.
The car in question carried a pre-sale estimate of $10m-$15m (£8m-£12m). However, the auction, led by Sotheby’s, saw the car fetch a stonking $18.8m, just over £15m. The auction was staged at Wynn’s Awakening Theater and was hosted by TV presenter and writer James Corden.
What do you think about the price of Hamilton's old Mercedes? Tell us in the comments section below
While the 2013 season was modest by Hamilton and Mercedes’ standards, it was a good deal better than 2023, which will not feature a single victory for the pair unless they spring a massive surprise at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix next weekend.
Unlike his old car, Hamilton endured a tough weekend in Vegas, finishing seventh after suffering car damage in clash with Oscar Piastri’s McLaren. Despite his own personal disappointment, the seven-time world champion hailed the grand prix as a breakthrough moment for the sport.
“For all those who said it was all about the show, Vegas proved them wrong,” said Hamilton in an apparent swipe against winner Max Verstappen, who has repeatedly slammed the showbiz aspect of the weekend.
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