Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 Car up for sale and we probably can’t afford it

Colin
By Colin Wood
Jun 23, 2021 | Formula 1, RM Sotheby's, McLaren-Mercedes, MP4-25, Lewis Hamilton

Race cars go up for auction all the time, but this isn't just any race car: It’s the 2010 McLaren-Mercedes MP4-25 driven by Lewis Hamilton to win the 2010 Turkish Gran Prix.

Noted as being certified by McLaren and the first “Lewis Hamilton GP-winning car to come to market,” the MP4-25 is powered by a naturally aspirated 2.4-liter V8 engine backed by a seven-speed transmission. Power specifications are not mentioned, though the redline is said to be somewhere in the range of 18,000 rpm.

Before you smash that piggy bank, however, RM Sotheby’s expects the McLaren to sell for $5,000,000-$7,000,000. If you have that kind of cash, you should totally buy it and bring it to Ultimate Track Car Challenge or even the $2000 Challenge. (You'd have to run for exhibition at the $2000 Challenge, though.)

Check out the listing for yourself here.

Join Free Join our community to easily find more Formula 1, RM Sotheby's, McLaren-Mercedes, MP4-25 and Lewis Hamilton news.
Comments
View comments on the GRM forums
David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/23/21 9:25 a.m.

Estimate almost seems too low. (Although could you really even drive it?)

Nicole Suddard
Nicole Suddard Marketing Coordinator
6/23/21 9:33 a.m.

The Lewis Hamilton merch I want VS the Lewis Hamilton merch I can (sort of) afford:

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/23/21 9:52 a.m.
David S. Wallens said:

Estimate almost seems too low. (Although could you really even drive it?)

The V8s are much simpler than the turbo hybrid engines, but my understanding is that they still require a lot of external support equipment, software, and expertise.  I suspect the only place to get that would be from McLaren and Mercedes.

Interesting that it's got Avon tires on it in the photo rather than the Bridgestones that were used that year.

rob_lewis
rob_lewis GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
6/23/21 10:01 a.m.

Kinda cool, but yeah, actually running it will be a challenge.  Modern F1 cars are cool, but with all the tech/support needed just to start one, I doubt you'll see many of them competing in events.  I wonder where the inflection point is that an F1 car can't be easily made to compete.  Mid 90's?

-Rob

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/23/21 10:07 a.m.

how does a bastard, orphan, son of a wh.... wait, wrong hamilton. 

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
6/23/21 10:08 a.m.

When you want to buy art, but want to have it smell a very specific way.

Durty
Durty Reader
6/23/21 10:14 a.m.

In reply to rob_lewis :

Regarding F1 cars that you can run without paying Ferrari to continue to tech it via Corse Cliente, I always assumed it was earlier than that which is why all the vintage races end with 70s cars. Those turbo 4s in the 80s were replaced weekly if not daily

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/23/21 11:24 a.m.

I suspect the "amateur" F1 car stopped with the demise of the Cosworth. Modern ones - including this one - need to be pre-heated just to open up the tolerances. And these weren't built to last as long as the hybrids, I suspect a 2021 would be easier to live with. 

That said, there's a team that campaigns a real Audi R8 in HSC and they're basically F1 cars that have to last for 24 hour races. You just have to hire the right people.  

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
6/23/21 12:01 p.m.

I thought he made watches?

A 401 CJ
A 401 CJ SuperDork
6/23/21 12:18 p.m.

No way it ever turns a wheel under its own power again unless somebody hires the entire support team and said team can get their hands on likely obsolete equipment.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/23/21 12:20 p.m.
A 401 CJ said:

No way it ever turns a wheel under its own power again unless somebody hires the entire support team and said team can get their hands on likely obsolete equipment.

I think it's likely the teams still have the equipment.  The testing rules don't allow them to run modern cars except under very specific circumstances, so the old cars with the V8s are used for media and promotional events with some regularity.

 

Saron81
Saron81 HalfDork
6/23/21 12:21 p.m.

In reply to rob_lewis :

I'd guess late 80s (before active suspension) realistically. I bet you could run a 1.5 turbo engine on modern management pretty easily, and it's not super intergraded into other systems like a more modern car.  

adam525i
adam525i GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/23/21 2:45 p.m.

I'd be looking for a post active suspension/pre grooved tires and narrowed trackwidth car from around 96/97, then I would pull the drivetrain and put it on display on the wall of my giant shop followed by a call to Judd for something similar to replace it with so I could enjoy the car. 

I'm pretty sure there is a Jordan and a Benetton from that era with that exact recipe that show up to some vintage race events in North America.

Kendall_Jones
Kendall_Jones HalfDork
6/23/21 2:57 p.m.

I wonder if that british guy who bought that BAR chassis ever got it together?

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 HalfDork
6/23/21 6:06 p.m.

Think there is room for an LS swap?

BlindPirate
BlindPirate Reader
6/23/21 7:30 p.m.

What auto cross class would this fit?smiley

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/23/21 8:15 p.m.
BlindPirate said:

What auto cross class would this fit?smiley

A Mod, I'd think. 

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/23/21 8:23 p.m.
Olemiss540 said:

Think there is room for an LS swap?

Probably not is my guess.

Like any formula car in the last 30+ years, an F1 car has the engine as a stressed member -- it's part of the frame.  The engine bolts to the back of the monocoque, the transmission bolts to the engine, and the rear suspension bolts to the transmission.  Production engines generally aren't designed to take those kinds of loads through the block, so you'd need to build some kind of adapter frame in order to use one.

So even if an LS were physically small enough to fit inside the bodywork (which I don't know for sure but I doubt, considering that the F1 engine is 2.4L and the aero engineers sculpt the bodywork very close to the mechanical bits), the adapter frame is going to be much bulkier.

 

RichardSIA
RichardSIA HalfDork
6/24/21 12:56 a.m.

So, it's basically a Van Gogh on wheels.

Way overvalued but not particularly attractive or useful.

A 401 CJ
A 401 CJ SuperDork
6/24/21 6:58 a.m.

I'd much rather have some old Ford Cosworth DFV with a GP history.  Something I could at least possibly fire up from time to time and that I had some clue about how to drive.  Even if I somehow got this Hamilton car running, I'd have about as much chance taking off and landing in an F16 as I would knocking off a lap in this.  I understand the basic control inputs on a fighter jet too.  It's all those other buttons and knobs that make we wonder what they do.  
 

but I'd still gladly take this over some NFT art or film clip of Lebron James dunking.

j_tso
j_tso GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/24/21 7:46 a.m.

There are specialists out there that can rebuild old F1 cars to running condition. They aren't cheap, which is why when you see these at events they're not wrung out and races are shorter than 30 minutes.  Wasn't the service life on these 20 hours or fewer?

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/24/21 8:23 a.m.
j_tso said:

There are specialists out there that can rebuild old F1 cars to running condition. They aren't cheap, which is why when you see these at events they're not wrung out and races are shorter than 30 minutes.  Wasn't the service life on these 20 hours or fewer?

Fewer.  In 2010 they got 8 engines for 19 GPs, with each weekend having 4-5 hours of running.  The engine life probably goes up a ton if you turn the rev limiter down by a couple thousand RPM though.

Saron81
Saron81 HalfDork
6/24/21 10:15 a.m.

In reply to A 401 CJ :

Richard Hammond drove an old Renault F1 car on TG many years ago. He's driven pretty much everything with wheels... and he pretty much couldn't drive it. He couldn't keep enough heat in the tires or the brakes to make it actually work, and it just wanted to spin, even pointed straight, lol. 
I'd still like to try. :) 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/24/21 10:17 a.m.
RichardSIA said:

So, it's basically a Van Gogh on wheels.

Way overvalued but not particularly attractive or useful.

Pretty much.

Years ago, someone way involved in the auction scene once dropped an interesting nugget on us: Even if/when all of the gasoline disappears, a Gullwing Benz will still be worth something because it's a beautiful piece of art--people will still want to display it. 

Is this F1 car artwork? Good question. But, yeah, I don't think the new owner will be driving this one too much. 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
6/24/21 10:25 a.m.
Saron81 said:

In reply to A 401 CJ :

Richard Hammond drove an old Renault F1 car on TG many years ago. He's driven pretty much everything with wheels... and he pretty much couldn't drive it. He couldn't keep enough heat in the tires or the brakes to make it actually work, and it just wanted to spin, even pointed straight, lol. 
I'd still like to try. :) 

Came here to say that. Even if you could get it running, any normal person would likely not be able to drive it. 

j_tso
j_tso GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/24/21 11:38 a.m.

I remember Hammond couldn't get it off the line because he didn't give it enough throttle and the anti-stall system kicked in. Those cars require full commitment and then your brain has to be able to get ahead of it.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
6/24/21 7:55 p.m.

In reply to Colin Wood :

If I could afford it, that'd be one way to go........

Our Preferred Partners
vBtvfpE0pX6YNmPAZADeFvD1BkLjrJt7Q4FVuPKh2WGpPi7ZakDSYU36SfBqq23q