The Coolest Cars Driven By F1 Champions

Driving the fastest and most technically advanced racing cars in the world, Formula One drivers have some serious skills. The adrenaline rush they experience threading their cars around some of the world’s most demanding circuits must make regular driving seem fairly mundane, and by extension, regular cars.

Formula One drivers are well compensated for their work, and winners of the prestigious World Drivers’ Championship are the absolute cream of the crop within the sport. This means that the champs on this list can afford pretty much any car they want.

With that unlimited budget in mind, it’s interesting to look at the choices that some of the fastest men to ever sit in an F1 car decide to drive for fun when they’re not on the track.

Let’s take a look at 10 Formula One champions and the cars they choose to drive when they’re not on the job.

Related:10 Facts Every Formula One Enthusiast Should Know About The McLaren F1 Team

10 Nico Rosberg: Mercedes 300SL Gullwing

German-Finnish Nico Rosberg took his first and only World Drivers’ Championship in 2016 as a teammate to Lewis Hamilton. Nico is the son of 1982 World Champion Keke Rosberg and resides primarily in Monaco. One of the most notable cars in his collection is a 1955 Mercedes 300SL.

The stunning car features several of Nico’s own YouTube videos found on his channel. The 300SL while being one of the most beautiful Mercedes cars ever built, is best known for its iconic gullwing doors. Using a 3.0-liter V6 engine, the 300SL could power to 60 mph in 8.8 seconds, and reach a top speed of 130 mph.

9 Lewis Hamilton: Pagani Zonda 760 LH

British driver Lewis Hamilton is the most successful driver of a generation. Having won an outstanding seven World Driver Championships, he is currently fighting for an eighth, although this is looking unachievable this year. Hamilton owned a Pagani Zonda as part of his personal collection, and it was not just a standard car, the model was specifically built for him. The “LH” in its name represents Hamilton’s name. Under the hood was a 7.3-liter naturally aspirated AMG V12. The unit put out 750 hp, and in Hamilton’s car, a six-speed manual gearbox sends all that power to just the rear wheels.

Hamilton was said to have kept and used the car exclusively around Monaco, where he primarily resides. Having purchased the car back in 2014, Hamilton has reportedly now sold the car and made an eye-watering $9.5 million profit.

Related: 10 F1 Records Set By Lewis Hamilton That Nobody Will Break Anytime Soon

8 Kimi Räikkönen: Ferrari Enzo

The ever-popular Kimi Räikkönen is famous for his one-liners and apparent nonchalance. The Finnish driver enjoyed a long career, during which he won the 2007 World Drivers’ Championship with Scuderia Ferrari.

It’s perhaps of little surprise that Kimi opted for one of the most exclusive Ferraris ever built, the Enzo. Designed to celebrate Ferrari founder Enzo Ferrari, just 400 examples were produced.

Related: This Is How Porsche And Audi Will Change Formula One

7 Aytron Senna: Honda NSX

The NSX was a car that Aytron not only drove but helped develop. Racing for the McLaren-Honda racing team in their Honda-powered McLaren MP4/4, Senna was well-placed to help Honda fine-tune the NSX’s handling. The Brazilian driver took three World Drivers’ Championships before his untimely death at Imola in 1994.

Following the development, Senna went on to own the finished car. A red example was gifted to him by Honda in 1991 for use at his European holiday home in Portugal. The NSX was powered by a 3.0-liter 24-valve V6 producing 274 hp. This power enabled a 0-60 mph time of 5.8 seconds and a top speed of 162 mph.

6 Fernando Alonso: Ferrari 458 Italia

Spaniard Fernando Alonso is a multiple World Champion. He took the crown in 2005 and 2006 for Renault, now known as the Alpine team. Fernando has competed in a number of other well-known categories such as IndyCar and the Le Mans 24 Hours. Alonso owns a custom Ferrari 458 Italia.

The mid-engined car was produced between 2009 and 2015 and was powered by a 562-hp 4.5-liter V8.

5 Sebastian Vettel: Ferrari F50

German driver Sebastian Vettel is one of the most successful drivers in recent history. Currently competing with the Aston Martin team, all four of his championships were achieved whilst he was part of the Red Bull Racing team. His victories were back to back, stretching from 2010 to 2013.

After his stint at Red Bull, he joined the prestigious Scuderia Ferrari team. Sebastian had a passion for Ferraris on the road too, amassing a collection including the F50, Enzo, and LaFerrari. The F50 was introduced by Ferrari in 1995 to commemorate its 50th anniversary. The car was powered by a 4.7-liter naturally aspirated V12 engine, which had been developed from the 1989 3.5-liter V12 Formula One car. Having become so disillusioned with his experience racing for the team, Sebastian sold the car along with others in his collection.

4 Max Verstappen: Porsche 911 GT3

Current World Champion Max Verstappen took his maiden World Title in a controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2021. Despite being the youngest driver to ever compete in Formula One at just 17 years old, Max now has a few years behind him. Currently aged 24, the Belgian-Dutch driver has an enviable car collection.

Purchased to celebrate his promotion to Red Bull from Torro Rosso, the GT3 is a track car for the road. A 500 hp 4.0-liter engine powers the Porsche to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, and the car can go on to a top speed of 199 mph.

3 Jenson Button: Bugatti Veyron

British driver Jenson Button achieved his World Championship win in 2009 whilst driving for the Brawn GP Formula One team. As an owner, Button would know the Veyron is a seriously powerful vehicle.

Under the hood is an 8.0-liter W16 engine with quad turbochargers. This unit produces just over 1000 hp, and 0-62 mph can be achieved in 2.5 seconds. Jenson advertised the car for sale at £900,000, or approximately 1.1 million dollars, with just 1500 miles on the clock.

2 Michael Schumacher: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

Ultra successful German Driver Michael Schumacher achieved seven World Championships during his career. Michael retired in 2006, before deciding to return to the sport in 2010, and he fully retired in 2012.

Fittingly for a German, he was a fan of Mercedes SLS AMG and had an example of the 6.2-liter V8 beast in his collection. In fact, to help advertise it, Schumacher drove the SLS AMG through a tunnel upside down.

1 James Hunt: Austin A35

James Hunt is arguably most well known for his off-track antics. The driver was a renowned lothario who enjoyed a drink or two. His biggest achievement on track was winning the 1976 World Drivers’ Championship with McLaren.

As an eccentric character, it is perhaps unsurprising that James Hunt opted to regularly drive his Austin A35 van around the streets of London.

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