What You Need To Know About Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren F1

The McLaren F1 had been sold to Hamilton for over $15 million. it was an understandable purchase, with his salary amongst the highest in the sport.

In January 2020, it was revealed that one of the world’s rarest and most sought after supercars had been purchased for an eye-watering fee. The McLaren F1, a one-time holder of the world’s fastest supercar title, had been sold to a mystery buyer for over $15 million. The seller added an extra layer of intrigue, after describing the buyer’s close ties to Formula 1.

It soon transpired that the mystery man was none other than Six-time F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton – a driver who shares a long and storied history with McLaren. For Hamilton, it was an understandable purchase, with his salary amongst some of the highest in all of sport.

With such an astronomical price tag, the 34-year-old has understandably only been spotted driving it on one occasion.

So this piece will set out to shed some light on the ultra-rare F1; why it’s so valuable, and how it is is a fitting purchase for Hamilton, given his unique history with the manufacturer.

Hamilton Has A Long History With McLaren

Today, racing fans will know Lewis Hamilton as the face of the Mercedes F1 team. The British driver has been with the Silver Arrows since 2013, and has since gone on to win five World titles in the following six seasons. His dominance has been unparalleled, but some may not know that it was with McLaren F1, way back in 2008, that Lewis captured his first championship.

After coming through McLaren’s Young Driver Academy, he was given an F1 seat with the team in 2007. That very season, he became one of the youngest drivers to win a race, while just over a year later, he converted five wins into a dramatic World Championship triumph. It was the team that Hamilton had been with since the age of 10, hence why his decision to join Mercedes in 2013 came as such a shock to many. It could perhaps be argued that his newest purchase points to the fondness he still has for his old employers.

Ron Dennis Promised To Gift Him A Papaya F1

After winning his maiden World Championship in 2008, legendary McLaren F1 chief Ron Dennis promised to gift Hamilton an incredibly rare papaya McLaren F1 car – if he managed to win three World Championships. As we all know, Lewis has since gone on to double that target, but with all five triumphs coming in a rival Mercedes car, we suspect big Ron hasn’t stuck to his vow.

As the price tag of Lewis’ current F1 highlights, these machines don’t come cheap. This is even more true of the papaya F1, which happens to be McLaren’s unofficial colour (see the Formula One team’s 2020 livery). The Daily Mail reports that Lewis has been a long-time admirer of this particular model, which was built in honor of the McLaren F1 GTR’s 1995 Le Mans win.

He Was First Pictured Driving It In Los Angeles

To date, the only sighting of Lewis behind the wheel of the F1 came earlier this year, where the Mercedes driver took it out for a spin on the streets of L.A. A short video, captured by carmodification on Instagram, shows him in the car, predictably stuck in traffic. It’s an iconic image, to see Britain’s greatest driver behind the wheel of one of the nation’s greatest ever supercars.

It’s easy to forget now, but at the time of its release in 1992, the F1 was a game-changer. It soon became the first road car to hit 240 mph, a huge leap forward in speed that would only be bested by the notorious Bugatti Veyron a decade later. The technological boundaries that were broke by Mclaren are still remarkable by today’s standards, as it remains the fastest normally-aspired production car ever made. With a 0-60 time of 3.2 seconds, it still posts acceleration numbers that eclipse some of the worlds best hypercars.

The Car Was Purchased For A Reported $15.6 million

The F1 isn’t just a marvel for its price and speed, its also remarkably rare. Only 63 models were built between 1993 and 1996, meaning that anyone who did manage to acquire one is in exclusive company. Furthermore, Hamilton’s model is a little bit special for another reason. Sold at an auction in California three years ago, it has the chassis number 044 – the driver’s original karting number. Suffice to say, if Lewis ever does decide to sell his prized asset, he’ll have a fair few suiters.

The reported auction price was $15.6 million, which makes the F1 the most expensive British car ever sold in this manner. Driving the F1 in Europe is one thing, taking it onto American streets is another matter entirely. Lewis’s model was converted to street legality in the U.S. shortly after its purchase. It has since been converted back to its original form and remains one of just seven examples federalized for U.S. roads. Hamilton’s silver F1 truly is one of the rarest cars you’re likely to ever see.

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