At the recent RM Sotheby’s Las Vegas auction, Lewis Hamilton’s 2013 Mercedes-AMG Petronas W04 F1 car has etched its name into the annals of motorsport history by fetching an astonishing $18.815 million. This remarkable sale not only shattered expectations but also secured its position as the second most valuable Formula 1 car ever to be auctioned, marking it as the most valuable modern-era F1 race car.
Driven by the legendary seven-time Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton, the W04 played a pivotal role in the 2013 Formula 1 season. Hamilton piloted the car in 14 out of 19 races, achieving a significant milestone by clinching victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix after starting from pole position. This triumph was particularly significant as it marked Hamilton’s first win for Mercedes since joining the team earlier that year. Throughout the season, he secured four additional podium positions and ultimately finished in fourth place in the 2013 championship standings.
Surpassing RM Sotheby’s initial estimate of $10 to $15 million, the $18.8 million sale price underscores the immense value placed on this historic racing machine. Notably, this record-breaking sale distinguishes the W04 as the only modern-era Mercedes F1 car not owned by the team, Mercedes’ team principal Toto Wolff, or the renowned driver Lewis Hamilton himself. Remarkably, the car remains both complete and functional, retaining its original 2.4-liter naturally aspirated V8 engine.
Prior to this groundbreaking sale, the second-highest price ever paid for an F1 car at auction was $14.9 million for the Ferrari F2003-GA, the vehicle in which Michael Schumacher secured his sixth F1 world championship. However, the current record holder for the most valuable F1 car ever sold is a vintage 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R, once driven by Juan Manuel Fangio, which commanded a staggering $29.6 million at auction a decade ago. The sale of Hamilton’s 2013 W04 now cements its place among these iconic racing machines, offering enthusiasts and collectors alike a tangible piece of Formula 1 history at an unprecedented price.
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