► Lewis Hamilton’s first race-winning Mercedes for sale
► Brought the seven-time champion’s only victory in 2013
► The team went on to dominate the year after
Fancy owning a piece of Formula One history? If you’ve got between $10 and $15 million dollars spare, now’s your chance. RM Sotheby’s is auctioning Lewis Hamilton’s very first race-winning Mercedes at an auction during this year’s Las Vegas GP weekend. It’s the only Mercedes driven by the seven-time world champion that’s been available to purchase by the (very wealthy public.
‘In the world of automotive greatness, few marques match the allure of the Mercedes Silver Arrows. The Mercedes W196, which sold for $29.6 million, remains the most valuable Formula 1 car ever sold,’ said Shelby Myers RM Sotheby’s global head of private Sales, RM Sotheby’s.
‘Now, adding to the legacy of the Silver Arrows, we introduce the W04—a car whose significance cannot be overstated. Driven by Formula 1’s most successful driver and sporting icon, Lewis Hamilton, this car delivered his very first win in a Mercedes F1 car, signalling the beginning of the marque’s most dominant period: the Hamilton-Mercedes dynasty.’
What is it?
The 2013 season marked the first year of Hamilton’s Mercedes career and came at a transitionary period for the team. Michael Schumacher was out, the Englishman was in and much of the Brackley and Brixworth-based team’s attention was focused on the new hybrid powertrain rules of 2014. As F1 fans will already know, it’s an era Mercedes and Hamilton went on to dominate.
The hybrid powertrain that would lead the team to eight constructors’ titles was well under development by the W04, but the learnings of the 2013 car – particularly on the chassis side – cannot be overstated.
Racing the sport’s final year with 2.4-litre V8 engines, the W04 won twice with Nico Rosberg and once with Lewis Hamilton – though the latter would’ve won in Britain if it wasn’t for a puncture.
A number of additional podiums meant the W04 finished a distant second to Red Bull in 2013, but that was a huge improvement over its fifth place classification in 2012, and a warning of what was to come.
You can find more information about the auction here.