There is something about Formula One drivers and their cars. Not only are they able to take their handcrafted F1 vehicles out for a spin, they can spend wads of cash on pimping out their own rides. After all, Formula One is big business nowadays. With all the cash swimming around thanks to sponsorship deals and endorsements, it is little wonder drivers can afford to splash out.
Through the driving annals, this champagne lifestyle has been enjoyed by a number of different drivers. This includes the likes of Ayrton Senna, as well as former champion Damon Hill. In fact, after his retirement from the sport, Hill set up a luxury super car club, named P1 International, where Hill would loan out high performance cars to individuals. However this came at a price, as the annual subscription fee to this exclusive club was in excess of $15,000 a year.
When it comes to Formula One stars and their cars, the cash pot is endless. Take for example two-time Spanish World Champion Fernando Alonso. His weapon of choice is usually the Maserati Gran Cabrio. This impressive drop top number is the perfect melange of style and sophistication. With its inspiration taken from the Gran Turismo, this incredible model is both sleek and roomy. It features nearly 100 LED lights, 20 inch rims and more detail than a Kandinsky portrait. Craftsmanship is taken to the next level with the Gran Cabrio.
Yet what exactly do his driving comrades have a penchant for? Here is the Top 15 Luxury Cars That Formula One Drivers Drive.
All car prices are estimated by using averages from a variety of sources.
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15 Fiat 500 Abarth: $23,245
This 2 door hatchback is an unpretentious car that has been driven by the likes of Sebastien Vettel and former F1 champion Kimi Räikkönen. Since its inception back in 2007, the Fiat 500 Abarth has been a little trooper. With an ever growing fan base, the Italian car giant is known for its excellent handling and dependability. The vehicle range includes everything from a small 0.9 litre engine up to a 1.5 litre engine. This ranges from between 130hp right up to nearly 200 hp.
14 Volkswagen R: $48,000
With approximately 300hp, the Volkswagen R is underestimated as far as cars are concerned. Deemed to be the king of Golfs, this German giant has done it again with the impressive engineering that has been put into this hatchback. This four wheel drive can attain speeds of 60mph in around 4 seconds and can reach a top speed of 155mph.The steering on this baby is a joy to behold and is extremely light with great maneuverability. With a price tag of $48,000, the Volkswagen Golf R is driven by Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo. He was given it as part of the sponsorship deal in place in conjunction with the Toro Ross team.
13 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8: $65,390
The Grand Cherokee SRT is a rip roaring vehicle that takes sport cars to the next level. Effective grip and power packed functions makes this an all-round performer. It packs more than 470hp as well as a 6.4 litre, V8 engine. An excellent off roader, this SUV is easily equipped to handle most things thrown in its path. Among their collection of cars, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa each own a Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8.
12 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG: $65,400
This German giant proves that engineering is admired by the finest F1 drivers. Priced at around the $65,000 mark, the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG can be purchased as a sedan or wagon model. On the inside, a 6.2L V8 engine powers every corner seamlessly, whilst it offers 451hp. It will reach 60mph in less than 4.5 seconds which is no mean feat. For the optimum performance and driveability, next year’s model will provide a twin-turbo 480hp power-plant. It is no wonder that drivers are queuing up for this one including Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg.
11 BMW X5: $67,000
German giants BMW have updated the X5 and unleashed it onto the roads with a diesel engine that offers four cylinders and less than 150g per kilometer of CO2 gases. The styling has been significantly improved in comparison to its previous model that incorporates brand new headlights. Everything is in the detail and the less is more approach to the X5 has not gone unnoticed, especially among the F1 glitterati. Fans of the X5 include Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi who is currently under the helm of the Caterham team.
10 Lotus Evora: $80,000
British car maker Lotus has a reputation that evokes performance and the finest engineering. It is no surprise then that it races into this Top 15. Known for its excellent level of handling, the Evora can be purchased for around $80,000. It is money well spent, thanks to its unique appearance and 3.5 liter engine. On the other hand, the Evora is able to exert nearly 350hp and reach speeds of up to 60 mph in around 5 seconds. Some of the Evora’s biggest fans are Jarno Trulli and former Finnish driver Heikki Kovalainen.
9 Mercedes C63 AMG DR520: $100,000
Creeping into the six figure range is the unique Mercedes C63 AMG DR520. Featuring more than 500 hp this car does not sit idly back for anybody. With speeds of up to 60mph in around 4 seconds, it's a nippy little number and can reach top speeds of just under 190mph. This is no mean feat but this model was exclusively produced and there are believed to be only 20 in the world. Yet one owner who can call the Mercedes C63 AMG DR520 his very own is British stalwart Jenson Button.
8 Mercedes-Benz GL420 CDI SUV: $99,000
Away from the chicanes and turns of the Grand Prix track, Lewis Hamilton loves nothing better than getting down and dirty in this vehicle. The 4x4 Mercedes-Benz GL420 CDI is an SUV with an attitude all of its own. In spite of the fact that it has a simple SUV concept that has been inspired by the Range Rover collection, it is a firm fixture with the British driving export. Plush interiors are coupled with a nearly silent engine, which ensures this Mercedes is a firm fixture in many a garage.
7 Nissan GT-R: $99,590
The Nissan GT-R comes fully equipped with more high tech aids than a NASA space station. One of the brand’s higher end vehicles is priced at around the $100,000 mark. However it does pack a punch, which is largely in part down to its racing series prowess. In fact, it can compete with several high end cars from the Audi R8 to the Lotus Elise given the opportunity. Open up the front and a treasure trove awaits which offers a 3.8L twin-turbocharged V6 engine. Astonishingly, it can reach speeds of up to 60 mph in less than 3.5 seconds. Drivers that enjoy putting this baby through its paces include Jenson Button.
6 Maserati Quattroporte: $104,000
The Italians are known for panache and style. This can be clearly seen in the luxurious Quattroporte by Maserati. Costing more than $100,000, the car itself has been around for the best part of half a century. Using engines by its style partner Ferrari, it is able to churn out more than 520hp. Meanwhile, the interior does not disappoint either. Other highlights include heated seats and a booming audio system encompassing 10 speakers. Notable fans of the Maserati Quattroporte include F1 supremo’s Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso.
5 McLaren MP4-12C: $231,400
With a host of factory upgrades, the McLaren MP4-12C powers off the blocks with great efficiency. A real contender in the best supercar category, this animal purrs like a kitten which is down to its perfectly formed twin-turbo V8 engine. Other features that will appeal include a carbon fibre tub chassis not to mention other high quality materials. These McLaren's offer high end F1 like steering wheel to its cockpit style driving experience. It is no surprise that Lewis Hamilton among others have already snapped one of these up.
4 Ferrari 599: $270,000
With a wealth of F1 starlets clamouring to get behind the wheel of this impressive Ferrari, the 599 has been turning all sorts of heads. Favoured by the likes of Felipe Massa, the Ferrari 599 starts at around the $270,000 mark. However, it is certainly worth every cent and is ridiculously slick. It can match the Enzo on any given day, while costing quite a bit less!
3 Porsche 911 GT2 RS: $250,000
Another favourite of the F1 elite is the quarter of a million dollar Porsche 911 GT2 RS. This model is no slouch with speeds of 60mph is less than 3.5 seconds. This puts it as a definite favourite among the speed freaks of the racing circuit. It benefits from a 3.6L twin-turbocharged flat-six cylinder engine and enjoys light aerodynamics. Other features that give it top billing include carbon fibre seats that are actually utilised in F1. It is no fluke that Mark Webber and Jenson Button are firm fans of this attractive car.
2 Ferrari Enzo: $659,000
Named after its founder, the Ferrari Enzo is a sheer work of art. This racing car provides a powerful 6 litre V12 engine and has more than 650hp. This enables the Enzo to reach speeds of 60 mph in just 3 seconds, which is no simple feat. Costing nearly a quarter of a million dollars, there are only 400 Enzos manufactured in the world. Hence, it is a highly sought after piece of machinery that has had collectors in fierce bidding wars. However money talks as they say and one famous owner of the Ferrari Enzo is Finnish racing sensation Kimi Räikkönen.
1 Pagani Zonda, $2 million
A player in the major leagues of car ownership, the ultra-chic Pagani Zonda is one to have on the driveway. Reaching speeds of up to 225mph, this wonderful supercar takes advantage of an incredible 7.3 litre V12 engine. Furthermore, it offers a whopping 750hp and is considered to be one of the hottest investments for car enthusiasts. With a price tag of around $2 million, British driver Lewis Hamilton has forked out for one in recent years.
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