The McLaren F1 car driven to victory by Lewis Hamilton in the 2010 Turkish Grand Prix sold for a stunning £4,836,000 ($6,661,000) in a single-car auction staged by RM Sotheby’s during the 2021 British F1 weekend at the Silverstone circuit.
The auction of McLaren MP4-25A, chassis No. 01, marked the first time any F1 race car driven by Hamilton has been offered for public sale, and the bidding Saturday followed Formula 1’s inaugural Sprint Qualifying Race.
The result was the second-highest for a Formula 1 car, the record held by Michael Schumacher’s 2001 F2001 that was sold for £5,449,607 ($7,506,556) by Sotheby’s in 2017.
The McLaren ran full-throated demonstration laps at Silverstone before a crowd estimated at 140,000, while bidding took place the car was on the track. McLaren test driver Rob Garofall piloted the historic racer to the roar of both the spectators and the car’s Mercedes Benz 2.4-liter V8 engine.
“The McLaren MP4-25A, chassis No. 01, was a key chassis in Vodaphone McLaren Mercedes’ 2010 season campaign, a year which ultimately saw the historic British team secure 2nd place overall in the Constructors Standings,” RM Sotheby’s said in a news release.
“As well as taking Hamilton to victory in Turkey, chassis No. 01 also took Lewis Hamilton to the fastest lap and a 2nd place finish in the 2010 Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix. Additionally, the chassis also took Jenson Button to a 3rd place podium finish in the season’s final race in Abu Dhabi.
“This remarkable car attracted significant interest from collectors around the world wishing to acquire an important piece of motorsport and F1 history, driven to victory by the sport’s most-successful-ever driver. The car is fully race prepared by McLaren Racing’s Heritage team, and ran its demonstration laps fully supported by McLaren and Mercedes technicians.”
Oliver Barker, chairman Sotheby’s Europe, said in the news release, “What an incredible experience it has been to conduct this auction of this incredible car in such remarkable and unique circumstances. We are deeply thankful to the entire team at Formula 1 who made it possible for us to sell the car at the British Grand Prix and in the privileged surroundings of the F1 winners’ podium that has hosted so many legends of the sport.
“We knew this was a unique opportunity for a collector to acquire an extremely important racing car, and I believe the result is testament to that.”