Lewis Hamilton has more than proved that his name belongs in Formula 1’s history books. He holds the most race wins of any single driver (98), while also holding the equal most world titles — his seventh crown in 2020 tying him with Michael Schumacher at the top of the tree.
Wind back the clock 11 years, and the scope of Hamilton’s talents was less known. Few could doubt that he was among the very best on the grid, given that he had already won a world title two years prior. But, like many other drivers past and present, his early years lacked consistency.
Still, 2010 was a solid season for the Brit. He won three Grand Prix’ for McLaren on his way to finishing fourth in the points; Sebastian Vettel sealing the crown after surviving internal warfare with teammate Mark Webber.
One of Hamilton’s cars from this particular season has come up for sale with noted auction house RM Sotheby’s. For the anoraks out there, it’s an MP4-25A, which came powered by a Mercedes-Benz-sourced 2.4-litre V8. It’s listed in London, and goes under the hammer on July 17.
RM Sotheby’s notes that this iteration of McLaren was a vast improvement on its predecessor due to how designers had integrated the F-duct much more neatly in order to reduce drag.
While it didn’t win a world title, this is still a Grand Prix-winning car. Hamilton steered it to victory at the 2010 Turkish Grand Prix — a race perhaps best remembered in Formula 1 folklore for being the site of Webber and Vettel’s famous civil-war shunt, and a crash that almost cost Red Bull the title.
What’s particularly interesting about the listing is that it’s the very first Hamilton Formula 1 car to make it to auction. With the star’s guaranteed place at the table of Formula 1’s driver elite, one would assume the car is likely to only go upwards in value.
RM Sotheby’s estimate that the MP4-25A will sell for between US$5–7million, or $6.9–9.6million in New Zealand dollars. Should it sell in this ballpark, that would make it one of the most expensive F1 cars ever sold at auction, particularly when compared to other cars from the modern era.
For reference, Michael Schumacher’s title-winning Ferraris from 2001 and 2002 sold for around US$7million, and are often considered two of the highest-priced Formula 1 auction sales in history.
“The availability of this particular example, Chassis no. 1 is an unrepeatable opportunity given the model’s scarcity. While client confidentiality precludes disclosing exactly how many cars exist in private ownership, it is believed to be only a scarce few,” explains the auction house.
“As such these examples remain highly coveted and largely in private hands, unlikely to be sold in the near future. Furthermore, the McLaren Mercedes represents a car that can still be track driven and supported by the original factory teams as part of individual Heritage departments.”