A Formula One Grand Prix-winning McLaren driven by Lewis Hamilton is up for grabs. The 2010 McLaren-Mercedes MP4-25A will be sold in at an exclusive RM Sotheby’s auction featuring just this. The event will be held at the Silverstone Circuit on July 17, the Saturday afternoon of the 2021 British Grand Prix weekend.
While the car is described in the listing as a race winner, the listing doesn’t specifically say which race or races. We do know that the car being offered for sale is chassis number 1 from the 2010 season, and that Hamilton won the Turkish Grand Prix, Canadian Grand Prix, and Belgian Grand Prix that season.
Powered by a 2.4-liter Mercedes-Benz V-8, the MP4-25A was notable for introducing the infamous “F-duct.” Named for the positioning of an outlet near the letter “f” in sponsor Vodafone’s name, the duct was activated by the driver covering up a small hole with his leg. This redirected airflow, reducing aerodynamic drag and adding up to 6 mph on straights, according to the listing.
2010 McLaren-Mercedes MP4-25A Formula One car driven by Lewis Hamilton (Photo by RM Sotheby’s)
The F-duct was briefly a must-have feature in F1, allowing teams to keep downforce-generating aerodynamic appendages for corners while eliminating some of the drag penalty on straights. Most teams introduced their own versions, but the system was eventually banned.
This is the first time an F1 car driven by Hamilton has been put for sale, according to the listing. The car is certified by McLaren, with an estimated value of $5 million to $7 million. It can still be used for track driving, the listing claims, though even a decade-old F1 car is likely far too much for most drivers to handle.
The MP4-25A also represents a lost era for McLaren. The team began a decline after the 2010 season, in part because it had to play second fiddle to the Mercedes factory team. Hamilton joined Mercedes for the 2013 season, and has now won six of his seven championships with them. Meanwhile, McLaren is once again achieving solid results, and has gone back to Mercedes power after lackluster years with Honda and Renault power units.