Formula One’s Lewis Hamilton may drive a Silver Arrows on the track, but on the road it seems he prefers a Prancing Horse.
The Mercedes-driving world champion has followed up victory at the recent Australian Grand Prix by purchasing a limited edition Ferrari for a cool $1.5 million.
“LaFerrari” is a hybrid supercar boasting a maximum speed of more than 350 km/h (217 mph) and can accelerate from 0-200 km/h (124 mph) in a mere seven seconds.
The speedy purchase was confirmed by a spokesman of Mercedes-Benz Motorsports, with Toto Wolff – Mercedes’ team principle – telling Italy’s Corriere Della Sera: “For us there is no problem.”
Thirty-year-old Hamilton, who took the checkered flag at Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit earlier this month, isn’t the only one who’s keen to try out the Italian car manufacturer’s latest model.
British chef Gordon Ramsay – famous for seeing red in TV shows such as “Kitchen Nightmares” – also owns one of the 499 LaFerraris in existence.
The chef chose to personalize his car with an engraved catchphrase on the steering wheel – and no it wasn’t an expletive – posting a photo on Instagram with the caption “I’ve gone all electric La Ferrari DONE!”
Hamilton’s performance engineer Jock Clear recently made the move from Mercedes to Ferrari, replacing Pat Fry as the Italian team’s head of engineering.
It’s unclear whether Hamilton’s recent purchase is a sign he’ll do the same in the future, but in the meantime he’s due to drive his single-seater Mercedes at the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday.
Alonso set to race in Malaysia
Hamilton will be joined on the grid by Fernando Alonso who is due to start his first race of the season after missing the season-opener with concussion.
The McLaren driver, who has been out of action since crashing in pre-season testing at Barcelona in February, will start Sunday’s race subject to passing final medical tests later this week.
“McLaren-Honda is pleased to announce that, subject to a successful final FIA medical assessment this Thursday 26th March at the Sepang International Circuit, Fernando Alonso will return to the cockpit of his MP4-30 car for this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix,” McLaren said in a statement.
“Since his Barcelona testing accident, Fernando has followed a rigorous, specialized training program, designed and closely monitored by leading sports scientists, to ensure his safe and timely return to racing.”
“Fernando is very much looking forward to getting back into the car and making a substantial contribution to our collective efforts with Honda, to accelerate the required improvement to our on-track performance.
Alonso, who won the F1 world title in 2005 and 2006, moved to the CNN-sponsored team in 2015 after spending five seasons at Ferrari.