Michael Schumacher is considered by many to be the greatest Formula 1 driver of all time. While there are others in the conversation as well, such as Ayrton Senna and Jim Clark, Schumacher is a go-to choice for many F1 fans due to his seven championship wins. However, another driver whose name also deserves to be in the conversation is Lewis Hamilton and there's at least one deep-pocketed fan that was willing to put their money where their mouth is. Lewis Hamilton's 2013 Mercedes F1 car just sold for $18.8 million at auction, more than Schumacher's 2003-season Ferrari did last year.
The 2013 Mercedes W04 chassis #4 car that RM Sotheby's just auctioned off was the first Mercedes Hamilton won a grand prix in. That win came at the Hungarian Grand Prix, the tenth race of the 2013 season. Following the Hungarian GP, Hamilton used that same car to snag four more podium finishes that season.
While Hamilton only placed fourth in the drivers' championship in that 2013 season, he eventually went on to win six drivers' championship titles with Mercedes, giving him seven in total (one with McLaren), tying Schumacher. So the W04 chassis #4 was the car that kickstarted what has become one of the greatest careers in F1 history, which must be why someone paid $3 million more than it was estimate to sell for.
For reference, when Michael Schumacher's 2003-season Ferrari F2003 sold last year, it only fetched $14.9 million, nearly $4 million less than Hamilton's car. Interestingly, Schumacher won five races in that Ferrari, versus the single win from Hamilton's Mercedes.
Still, as shocking as the final sale price for Hamilton's Mercedes is, it's still far off the record F1 car sale. That record belongs to another Mercedes, ironically. More specifically, it belongs to 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R, which helped Juan Manuel Fangio win his second of five Formula 1 championship titles and sold for a whopping $29.65 million in 2013.
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