While driving for a profession, F1 drivers still need to get from place to place outside the track, and as professional drivers they are unlikely to opt to be chauffeured around at all. They prefer a car that they can be luxurious yet of beastly might, and they can expertly handle on the road easier than the racetrack.
The successful F1 drivers certainly have money to spend on gearing up their choice of rides, though they may also land some nice deals through their sponsorships who give them cars to drive for free. So when these gear buffs arrive at work, chances are the parking lots of the racing arenas are likely to be packed with some impressive vehicular prowess.
So what are some of these beasts being road tamed by the Formula 1 stars. Let’s take a look:
(20) Lewis Hamilton’s Pagani
The Pagani Zonda 76LH is a car made specifically for Lewis Hamilton (as the two letters at the end of its name may give away). Often posting pictures of his cars, Hamilton is not shy about putting this one up for display, often pairing it with a hashtag of #batmobile. With a manual gearbox and 760 hp, the Pagani can get up to 62mph from 0 in less than 3 seconds.
(19) Fernando Alonso’s Maserati Gran Cabrio
Alonso has been on a score of teams, and everytime he gets to a new one, he seems to get himself a better ride out of it. When he upgraded to the Cabrio, he opted for a pearl beige finish and Bordeaux for the interior of the vehicle, with a soft top roof to top it all off.
(18) Valtteri Bottas’s Mercedes-Benz GLE 350 D Coupe
He chose the Coupe as his winter car while driving for Williams. His team’s engines were powered by Mercedes at the time, and were a great choice for dealing with the snowy Finland roads. Unlike some other F1 drivers who go more flash, Bottas is not single, and perhaps prefers a level of security for “precious cargo”.
(17) Jenson Button’s Super cars Collection
Spending most of his time in Formula 1 behind the wheels of slower cars, the now retired Button seems to prefer the speed of his cars on the road. He has owned multiple Ferraris, a McLaren P1, a Honda S600, a 1973 Porsche 911, a 1956 Volkswagen Campervan, Mercedes C63 AMG, Honda NSX Type R, and Bugatti Veyron.
(16) Nico Hulkensberg’s Porsche
Following his father’s and grandfather’s advice, Nico opted to keep his Porsche clean and tidy. He chose to post pictures of himself washing his car shirtless, getting a good amount of attention from social media from doing so.
(15) Jolyon Palmer’s Renault Megane GT
While not spending a lot of time in Formula 1 himself, Palmer belongs to a select club of Formula 1 drivers whose fathers were also Formula 1 drivers. As such, he is the son of Dr. Jonatham Palmer, the current owner of most big circuits and a few smaller racing circuits in the UK, his exposure to race cars has been long standing. But with his owning a Renault Megane, the only type of car Renault allows drivers to take home, his car ownership portfolio is not overly exciting.
(14) David Coulthard’s Mercedes Collection
Having never won the Formula 1 championship, but coming close several times, he has had to watch Mika Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher battle out over championship wins. Claiming he was just not consistent enough for winning races, he certainly shows consistency in the cars he buys for luxury, specifically Mercedes.
Fascinated by the 1971 Mercedes 280 SL, because it was made the year he was born, he made it one of his Mercedes purchases. He owns other Mercedes including the GLS class, and even has a Mercedes 300 SL on order.
(13) Lewis Hamilton’s 427 Cobra
A prize for Hamilton’s collection is his 1966 Cobra. Hamilton has so many cars, and posts photos with so many of them, it is a wonder he has time to drive them all on his time off. He generally spends his time off the track riding around and taking pictures for Facebook and Instagram, showing off all his road toys.
(12) Mark Webber’s Porsche 911 Turbo S
After multiple world championships, Webber has now retired from the race track, but still works with Formula 1 as a pundit and a commentator. His garage stocks several impressive pieces such as the Porsche 911 Turbo S, a BMW M3, M5 and a Jaguar XK8. During his youth he mostly drove pickups and Land Rovers, so these days he spoils himself with power cars. His dream is to own a Porsche 550 Spyder.
(11) Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes
After shocking the racing world by retiring right after winning the 2016 world championship, Roseberg really did go out on top, but he has not cut his love for Formula 1. He still attends a lot of races and claims to watch the rest on TV. And he certainly has not lost his love for cars as he owns quite a few stocking his garage, and they are almost entirely Mercedes. Among his possessions are the SLS AMG, the G 63 AMG, 1970 Mercedes 280 SL and the GLE. His dream car, ironically, is a Ferrari 250 GT California Spider. No longer driving for Formula 1 and the Mercedes team, perhaps Nico feels he can branch out a bit.
(10) Susie Wolff’s Mercedes
Susie Wolff, married to Toto Wolff who is a fan of Mercedes herself, much like a lot of others associated to the Formula 1 world, she had been exposed to fast cars long before, test driving for Williams and being the first woman, at just 22 years old, to drive on a race weekend during practice runs.
(9) James Hunt’s Road Cars
One of the biggest partiers and notorious nightlifers of the racing world, James Hunt had a habit of over partying the night before races, with antics that would put most current party going Formula 1 racers to shame. But his choices for his road travels were more subdued. Driving an Austin A35 for most of his transportation, this vehicle now travels to many road shows and motorsport display events. Hunt also did own a Porsche 911 3.0 RS and a Mercedes 450 SEL 6.9 salon, as well as a Mini.
(8) Daniel Ricciardo’s Aston Martin
Part of Ricciardo’s charm is his ever present smile, so part of the joy of seeing him cruising around off the track in his Aston Martin, is seeing the permagrin as he is enjoying his ride. Though his passenger seats remain empty and he seems to be somewhat unsafely taking selfies of himself, it’s obvious he loves his prized ride.
(7) Fernando Alonso’s McLaren
Alonso’s career has been marred by a series of fruitless, boring and humiliating seasons, but the perks of the job are still pretty nice. He has driven for two different formulas at once, making him one of the highest earning drivers in the sport, and he gets some nice cars out of the deal to drive on his off-track time. A McLaren gives him at least one reason to smile.
(6) Ayrton Senna’s Honda Acura NSX
Outside of the racing world, Senna has made an impact on the world of road driven cars as well. In 1989 he was invited by Honda to give their newest contraption, the Honda Acura NSX a test drive, and to provide his feedback. After doing so, Senna declared the car too “fragile”. This sent the Honda carmakers back to the drawing board. What they came back with was a brilliant redesign, inspired by Senna’s input.
(5) Heikki Kovalainen’s Lotus Evora
When Kovalainen picked up his custom-built Lotus Evora, he got to show off to the world a custom piece of art. Painted with a blue stripe down the center for a Finnish flag look (for the Finnish racing star…smooth move), and a left hand drive build, he was handed the keys to this beauty for free. When you drive a Lotus around the track for a living, you may land a Lotus for your outside the track life to better represent your brand.
(4) Adrian Sutil’s Porsche Panamera
Not only does Sutil have an affinity for Porsches, of which he owns several, he also enjoys them being modified to his pleasure. He bought one that he chose to have modified to make it, as he described, “improved”. Unlike a lot of drivers who get their cars for free from the sponsors or teams, this one was bought and modifications were paid for by Sutil’s own money. It was ultimately sold for more than $780,000 over the base price, likely to set off the modification work done on it. Perhaps he needed the money. After glassing someone in a nightclub, Sutil may not have a lot of it on hand anymore.
(3) Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso’s Twin Fiat Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari
Massa and Alonso both received their special edition Abarth 695 Ferraris during their time as Ferrari drivers in Formula 1. Custom painted red to match their race cars, the two gentlemen ended up with twin vehicles.
These drivers however have plenty of money to afford their cars, more suited to their driving and road needs, and while it is nice for such cars to be handed to them free of charge, it is not always practical. There is not much room for passengers, and since Massa travels everywhere with his wife and son, it could be a challenging car to use.
(2) Max Verstappen’s Renault Clio
Verstappen had a bit of an advantage to other up and coming Formula 1 drivers. His father, Jos, was also an F1 driver in his day. Max has been driving since he was 17 on the Formula 1 track, which is interesting if you realize that he got his license at age 18. In fact, he bought a Renault Clio for the purpose of taking his driving test in it. With only 5 hours of training, he easily passed his driving test in it on the first attempt. He has since spent $400,000 on a Porsche 911 GT3 RS, something a bit more fitting for the guy who breaks records.
(1) Ayrton Senna’s Ford Escort XR3
The champion of champions of the racing world actually drove a Ford Escort back in 1985. Not a car that anyone would have a second look at, or even consider purchasing…unless they wanted to emulate their racing hero. True, he also had a number of other vehicles to his name, like the Audi S4 and the Honda Acura NSX, but the humbleness of road driving may perhaps be a lesson that lots of flashy contemporary racers can learn a thing or two about. Then again, perhaps the flashiness is half the fun in the racing world.