Hamilton’s Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 W04 Has Become the Second Most Expensive F1 Car in History

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At RM Sotheby’s auction during the F1 Grand Prix in Las Vegas on 18 November 2023, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 W04 driven by Lewis Hamilton in the 2013 season sold for a record amount, becoming the second most expensive F1 car in history.

On the occasion of the F1 Grand Prix in Las Vegas, Sotheby’s auctioned the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 W04, expected to sell for between $10 and $15 million. Surprisingly, the car sold for a much higher price. One buyer paid $18.815 million (17.2 million euros), and it became the second most expensive F1 car in history. The price is very high because this model did not win the world title.

2013 was the last year in which the regulations allowed the use of 2.4-litre naturally aspirated V8 engines. The 2.4-litre naturally aspirated V8 engine developed 750 PS plus another 80 PS thanks to a clever energy recovery system (KERS), while the red zone started at 18,000 rpm.

Hamilton used the auctioned W04-04 chassis in 14 of the 19 races of the 2013 season, winning the Hungarian MP at the Hungaroring and taking third place in the Malaysian, Chinese, and Belgian MPs. Hamilton finished the 2013 season in fourth place and took five pole positions.

In 2014, the naturally aspirated V8 engines were replaced by the new V6 turbo hybrid engines. From that moment on, Mercedes’ F1 supremacy began, with Hamilton winning two world titles in 2014 and 2015 and his teammate Rosberg in 2016. In 2016, Rosberg ended his career, and Hamilton’s new teammate was Valtteri Bottas. Hamilton won four more world titles, and Mercedes won eight Constructors’ titles between 2014 and 2021.

Due to its sale price of USD 18.815 million, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 W04 is the second most expensive F1 car ever sold at auction. In first place is Juan Manuel Fangio’s car, which he won his second world championship title in 1954, sold in 2013 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed for around $23.99 million (22 million euros).

Third place is occupied by the Ferrari F2003-GA, with which Michael Schumacher won his sixth world title in 2003. With chassis 229, Michael Schumacher has five victories. The car sold at a Sotheby’s auction in November 2022 for $14.28 million (13.1 million euros)

Incidentally, three cars driven by Schumacher, in which he won the world title, are in the top five most expensive F1 models sold at auction. In fourth place is the Ferrari F2001, sold for $7.5 million (6.87 million euros) at a Sotheby’s auction in New York in 2017, and in fifth place is the Ferrari F2002, sold in 2019 for $6.6 million (6.05 million euros).