Revealed: 10 of the most outrageous purchases made by F1 drivers

Private jet owned by Lewis Hamilton. F1 Spain February 2013. Credit: Alamy
Private jet owned by Lewis Hamilton. F1 Spain February 2013. Credit: Alamy

Formula 1 drivers have a high reputation for being extravagant with their purse strings when off the racetrack and over the years, F1 drivers have purchased some outrageously expensive items.

Below, PlanetF1.com looks at some of the most extravagant purchases made.

1. Lewis Hamilton: Bombardier Challenger 605: $29 million

One of the most famous purchases by an F1 driver to date was Lewis Hamilton’s private jet which was estimated at a cost of $29 million. The jet was a Bombardier Challenger 605, a popular choice among jet owners.

The jet was a luxurious, high-performance business jet accommodating 12 passengers, and perfectly suited to Hamilton’s lifestyle. The purchase was short-lived, however, and we can confirm the star no longer owns it, with the Mercedes driver selling it over concerns over its environmental impact.

2. Daniel Ricciardo: Aston Martin Valkyrie: $3 million

Daniel Ricciardo is well known for his love of cars and has purchased quite a few over the years, the most memorable being the Aston Martin Valkyrie which he bought for a cool $3 million.

One of the world’s rarest and most exclusive vehicles, designed in conjunction with Red Bull and Adrian Newey during their collaboration with the team, Ricciardo’s love for the Aston Martin brand was not as evident in the closing stages of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix when he cost the Aston Martin team $18 million by holding off his former team-mate Sebastian Vettel, with every place in the Constructors’ Championship worth millions to the teams.

3. Fernando Alonso: 60 Sunreef Power Eco catamaran: €4 million

One of the most successful and longest standing F1 drivers on the grid, Fernando Alonso has certainly accumulated a fortune winning the championship in 2005 and 2006 while driving for Renault, and then achieved further success driving with McLaren and Ferrari, commanding one of the highest salaries on the grid in the process.

In his spare time, it is no secret that Alonso has a love for water, and he has recently purchased a solar powered yacht for an estimated €4 million. The 60 Sunreef Eco catamaran propelled by electric motors, is currently under construction at Sunreef Yachts and we should expect to see it in action on Spanish waters very soon.

4. Charles Leclerc: 48 Dolceriva: €2 million

Another F1 driver with a love for the open water and yachts is Charles Leclerc who purchased his own yacht in 2020 for an estimated €2 million, a 48 Dolceriva with a top speed of 35 knots (almost 65kph).

The Dolceriva is 15 metres long and contains two cabins capable of accommodating four guests. Charles named the yacht ‘Monza’ to commemorate his success in the 2019 Italian Grand Prix for Ferrari – choosing Riva is no accident, the Sarnico shipyard has been in partnership with Ferrari for several years, with the logo present on the car and helmets of the drivers.

More recently, in 2022, Leclerc purchased a second luxury yacht, the Riva Sportfly 66 Ribelle, which retails at around £2-3.5 million and is called ‘Sedici’, the Italian word for 16, his race number.

5. Kimi Räikkönen: Swiss villa ‘Butterfly’: $24 million

After a long and successful career driving for Sauber, McLaren, Ferrari, Lotus and Alfa Romeo, Räikkönen called it a day on his career at the end of 2021, but rest assured he has plenty to enjoy in his retirement.

The F1 driver has amassed an impressive portfolio of properties in his homeland of Finland as well as in Dubai and Thailand, but it is his mansion near Zurich that he spends most of his time in with his wife Minttu and children Robin and Rianna.

Bought for and estimated $20.5 million in 2009, the mansion is situated in Baar, a small village near Zurich, and is named ‘Butterfly’ – although it remains unclear why.

6. Max Verstappen: Dassault Falcon-900EX private jet: $15 million

Max Verstappen is known for his luxury lifestyle away from the track, so it is no surprise that at just 24 years old, he purchased a Dassault Falcon-900EX private jet, bought off Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic towards the end of 2020, an estimated purchase of $15 million. Such is the interest in his whereabouts, there is even a Twitter account dedicated solely to tracking Verstappen’s jet when it takes off and lands.

Another of Verstappen’s quirkier purchases were two expensive Bengal cats costing between $1500-$3000. He has joked in the past the cats are named Toto and Lewis after his rivals, but later admitted this wasn’t really the case.

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7. Valtteri Bottas: FIA grade 1 racetrack

Valtteri Bottas has amassed a huge fortune during his time driving for Mercedes and now for Alfa Romeo. It has been in the news recently that he is currently in talks with the KymiRing over a potential purchase of the 4.6km FIA grade 1 track in Litti, Finland.

The KymiRing was due to host MotoGP races after its construction, but ongoing financial difficulties have seen the project fall apart. The original owners went into administration and now Bottas is talking to potential investors over purchasing the 4.6km circuit – the sum currently remains unknown.

8. Sebastian Vettel: Williams FW14B: €2 million

Like most F1 drivers, Sebastian Vettel is known for his love of supercars and has purchased in the past one of the most iconic Formula 1 cars in history.

Adding to his private collection and a well-known lover of F1 history, Vettel splashed out a cool €2 million on a Williams FW14B – the car that helped Nigel Mansell gain the World Championship in 1992 during a season where the FW14B won 10 out of the 16 races and 15 out of the 16 pole positions.

“The Red 5 was very interesting for me. The car is absolutely iconic and, just like me, has the starting number 5,” Vettel said.

9. Lewis Hamilton: McLaren F1: £15.6 million

We couldn’t help but allude to some more of Hamilton’s outrageous purchases, which include an extremely rare McLaren F1, which he purchased for an estimated £15.6 million at Bonham’s auction in 2017.

It was the fastest production car in the world when it was released, and what made it extra special to Hamilton in particular when he bought it was the chassis number, 44, his racing number.

Hamilton has a strong connection with McLaren who gave him his debut in Formula 1 and funded him in his junior F1 days. The British driver won a World Championship with the team in his second season but signed for Mercedes in 2013 – and the rest is history!

10. Michael Schumacher: ‘Island Michael Schumacher’: $7 million

We conclude by looking at the legendary Formula 1 driver, Michael Schumacher, who has purchased a lot of luxury items in his time, but the $7 million island was actually given to him as a gift!

Named ‘Island Michael Schumacher’, the island was reportedly gifted to him by the Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The island was said to be worth around $7 million at the time and was intended to be used as a personal retreat for him to relax and spend time with his family.

 

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