Formula 1 drivers are an interesting lot when it comes to their personal rides. On one hand, you have serious car collectors like Lewis Hamilton, who owns 15 supercars. And then there are drivers like Lance Stroll, who doesn’t own a single vehicle. Some have a preference for hybrid vehicles, while others drive cars that are barely road legal.
Also, they are amongst the highest paid sportsmen on the planet (if you’ve ever bought a ticket to a race, you’ll understand why). So, given that they spend most of their time inside the fastest cars ever made, what do they roll around in on their days off? Some of their choices will surprise you, with some bizarre and downright hilarious photos, such as Kimi Raikkonen, who was clearly less than thrilled to receive a Fiat 500X from his sponsor—and one Formula 1 driver who talks smack about his million-dollar hypercar.
By reviewing this list, you start to get a deeper understanding of each driver's personality, which ones enjoy lavish lifestyles, and who has motoring running deeply in their veins. It’s fascinating to see how many professional drivers still manage to get a thrill out of driving for pleasure once they have clocked off for the day.
If you’ve ever assumed that these highly-paid sports stars must all have impeccable taste and drive supercars, strap yourself in and prepared to be surprised, as we are about to reveal which Formula 1 stars own lemons and which drivers have the sickest rides outside of a race track.
20 Lemon: Lewis Hamiltons Pagani Zonda 760 LH
The Pagani Zonda is a dream car for many enthusiasts, so why are we calling it a lemon? Well, Lewis Hamilton has stated that his Zonda is terrible to drive. He explained his bold claim further, saying it may be the best sounding car in his collection but handling-wise, it’s the worst. And when it comes to how a car should handle, we think few people know better than the second most successful driver in Formula 1. He wasn’t impressed by the Zonda's automated manual transmission, either, and demanded that Zonda supply him with a manual version. Hamilton stated that he is used to quick-shifting cars and quipped that it was faster for him to change gears himself.
19 Sick Ride: Lando Norris’ McLaren 720S
Lando Norris is one of the youngest drivers in the 2019 Formula 1 season but he’s one to watch because, unlike some drivers, he doesn’t take himself too seriously. This fits in with the McLaren ethos, as the company tends to be quite unconventional themselves. Lando has been looked after by his McLaren team, who gave him one of the hottest cars this year, the McLaren 720S. The angles at which corners can be attacked in the 720S would confuse Pythagoras. The sense of speed from the 4-liter, twin-turbo monster is almost heartstopping. The 720S is so ballistically quick that Ferrari and Lamborghini will be eating McLaren's dust for quite a while.
18 Lemon: Lance Stroll's Legs
Lance Stroll is an interesting character with a questionable driving style. The man who has been called the worst driver in Formula 1 drives like he is never fully in control of his car and has plenty of wrecks under his belt to prove it. His father (and team boss) Lawrence Stroll has an amazing collection of vintage Ferraris and perhaps, for this reason, his son Lance doesn’t even own a car. Lance previously admitted that as a child he never had a dream car and doesn’t enjoy driving outside of his job, instead preferring to relax and spend time away from vehicles.
17 Sick Ride: Antonio Giovinazzi's Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
After graduating from the Ferrari driving academy, Antonio found his way into the Alfa Romeo camp alongside star driver Kimi Raikkonen. As a welcoming gift, Alfa Romeo presented him with the high-performance edition of their Giulia Quadrofolgio. At the heart of this road-going missile sits a very special power-plant: a Ferrari sourced, twin-turbocharged, 2.9-liter V6 that packs over 500 horsepower. As well as its straight line insanity, the Quadrofoglio has plenty of track-focused features and a sensational steering setup. The Alfa Romeo only comes with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and no manual option, but we don’t think anybody who owns one will mind.
16 Lemon: Valtteri Bottas’ Mercedes G-Wagen
Alright, I know what you are thinking: how can anyone in their right mind call a G Wagon a beater? Hear me out because I have professed my love of all things AMG before. But the G Wagon is not without its problems and is a terrible choice for a professional racer. Common problems include violent shaking and shuddering when driving. This is a sign that the prop shaft has failed and the only solution is replacement. We’ve also seen some pretty rusted out G-Wagens despite them being new, particularly around the tailgate and the rear lights. Other major problems include the sunroof suddenly ceasing to work and premature failure of suspension springs.
15 Sick Ride: Robert Kubica's Lamborghini Urus
If you’ve never heard Robert Kubica's story, it is an absolutely amazing tale of how he overcame a huge setback and did the work to overcome his problems and rise to the top of his sport again. In a race in 2011, he had a spectacular incident and took years to recover. During that time, he never stopped yearning to get back into professional motorsport and he made a discovery which would change the way he drove, using as small an action as needed to correct the car and using friction in corners to turn in a way he never considered before. He also drives this sweet-looking Lamborghini Urus.
14 Lemon: Alexander Albon's Bicycle
Most famous for beaching his car during his first F1 practice session, Alexander Albon spends as little time as possible behind the wheel of a car, preferring to ride a bicycle. This also serves the purpose of helping to increase his cardiovascular fitness—during a Formula 1 race, drivers will have to sustain a heart rate of around 190 beats per minute. It is absolutely essential for their ability to perform that they maintain the highest level of fitness they can because, during cornering, the load on their neck and head can be as much as 5 G. They can lose up to three liters of water through perspiration during a single session and must be able to make lightning-quick decisions despite the physical stress.
13 Sick Ride: Charles Leclerc's Ferrari 812 Superfast
Charles Leclerc is probably the Formula 1 driver with the greatest potential. He has shown that he can drive at a blistering pace and is unflappable with his ability to focus. It’s really no surprise, then, that his car of choice is a Ferrari 812 Superfast. The Superfast has an engine large enough to have its own zip code, a 6.5-liter V12. But the real beauty of the 812 Superfast is that it’s naturally aspirated. No bells, no whistles, no whooshes—just instant throttle response and an ungodly howl. The Superfast is, of course, super fast. The V12 is has a mountainous output of 789 horsepower, with enough attitude to frighten any Lamborghini.
12 Lemon: Kevin Magnussen's Renault Clio RS
Kevin Magnussen first drove the plucky little Renault Clio RS when it was just a concept car, but he was so impressed by it that he asked Renault to make him one as soon as production started and he is still driving it to this day. As an exchange, Renault asked him to be a part of the unveiling at the Monaco Grand Prix. The Clio RS borrows some design cues from Renault's Formula 1 car, namely the F1-style blade on the front bumper and the rear diffuser. It comes with a dual-clutch transmission and a turbocharged engine that punches out 197 horsepower. The Clio is fast, light, easy to throw into corners, and a perfect match for Magnussen's super-aggressive driving style.
11 Sick Ride: Nico Hulkenberg's Porsche 918 Spyder
Nico Hulkenberg has probably had enough to do with Renaults. In several races, he has carried the pace to show he has the potential to be a podium finished. But his F1 team has been plagued with mechanical problems for the past two years. One car that hasn’t let him down, however, is his Porsche 918 Spyder. The 918 doesn’t have that typical Porsche howl, instead, it uses a hybrid engine and is clearing the way for Porsche to release their fully electric car, the Taycan. The kick-in-the-back acceleration of the hybrid engine, combined with the PDK dual clutch transmission and the perfectly balanced chassis, make the 918 feel like a proper racing car. And even better for Hulkenberg, they aren’t known for breaking down.
10 Lemon: Kimi Raikkonen's Fiat 500X
Pictured above with Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen has been called the least enthusiastic Fiat spokesmen ever. Fiat is a personal sponsor of Raikkonen and ‘gifted’ him with his very own Fiat 500X, which may explain his expressionless poses during the photo-shoot. The Fiat 500X looks like a fun car but it really isn’t. Its clutch is so light it feels like it isn’t even there and it suffers from a sleepy throttle, meaning you have to rev it excessively so it will wake up, then you can tell it to go. The Fiat 500 is a perfect car for puttering about, although it’s probably not fun for somebody who admits he treats Formula 1 competition like a hobby.
9 Sick Ride: George Russel's Mercedes C 63 AMG
Junior driver George Russel clearly loves his Mercedes, whether he’s driving it or giving it a bath. His car of choice, the C 63 AMG, is a family-sized vehicle that exudes enough muscularity to scare a small child. It is powered by a 4-liter, twin-turbo V8 that has been detuned to a touch over 500 horsepower. In typical Mercedes fashion, it is just as happy being driven sensibly as it is shredding tires. The driving modes are more complicated than on previous offering, with a new system called AMG Dynamics in place. It calculates in real time, how much stability control and driver assists you need based on your inputs and works to help you rather than trying to ruin your fun.
8 Lemon: Pierre Gasly's Girlfriend's Vespa Scooter
For all of his jet setting and sky-high earnings, Pierre Gasly is quite frugal when it comes to spending money. He has been together with his girlfriend, who is from Italy, Caterina Masetti Zannini. Although she doesn’t seem to be into car racing, she does enjoy the automotive styling that the region is famous for and has recently been learning to ride her own Vespa Scooter, which Pierre bravely doubles up on as a passenger. Vespa offers a range of scooters with displacement up to 150cc, which makes them quite quick for a lightweight two-wheeler. Pierre recently confessed that being a passenger on the bike is even scarier than driving the quickest cars on the planet.
7 Sick Ride: Daniel Ricciardo's Aston Martin Valkyrie
Daniel Ricciardo clearly loves his Aston Martins. He was one of the first people in the world to drive the latest model Vantage and he was also selected by the luxury car manufacturer to be able to purchase their futuristic hypercar, the Valkryie. Kept mostly under wraps, the Valkyrie was developed in conjunction with the Red Bull Formula 1 team. It’s powered by a Cosworth-tuned V12 that is paired with an electric motor. The Valkyrie is one of the fastest production cars that money can buy, with a top speed of 250 mph. Power output is around 1,000 hp, with a power-to-weight ratio of 1:1, making Ricciardo one of a select number of people who can probably handle this insane ride.
6 Lemon: Sebastian Vettel's Suzuki T500
Ferrari's star driver, Sebastian Vettel, has an incredible collection of Italy's finest supercars—as you’d expect. However, few fans would expect his favorite daily driver to be a 1969 Suzuki T500 motorcycle. Vettel remembers his bicycle as the first type of transport that gave him a kind of independence and like many who have been bitten by the two-wheel bug, he's just as happy tooling around on two wheels as four. Vettel does have a nice collection of motorcycles, comprised of classics, sport bikes, naked bikes, and tourers. He has said previously that he prefers historic vehicles, a passion which stemmed from his first bike, a Cagiva Mito, about which he claims he modified everything on the bike in an attempt to make it go faster.
5 Sick Ride: Carlos Sainz's McLaren 600LT
McLaren is evidently expecting big things in the future for Carlos Sainz. After all, his family is practically motorsport royalty. Unlike his World Rally Championship-winning father, Carlos Jr doesn’t have a large car collection, instead preferring to cruise in a "perfectly adequate" McLaren 600LT. Despite the various teething problems McLarens typically suffer, one aspect they execute perfectly is steering precision and control. Feedback is lightning fast, allowing the driver plenty of opportunity to make adjustments mid-corner. The 600LT isn’t the quickest supercar, but it’s plenty fast enough, with a 0-60 time of 2.9 seconds. It carries its speed in typical supercar fashion, with a standing quarter-mile time of 10.4 seconds.
4 Lemon: Romain Grosjean's BMW R80
After tire failure following a wing mishap, its little wonder that Grosjean prefers to spend time on a two-wheeled machine, as far away from cars as possible. The BMW R80 is a classic motorbike that is comfortable to ride and with 50 horsepower, it’s sporty enough to have some fun. In the mid-70s, BMW realized they could never outdo any bikes from Japan in the horsepower race, instead, concentrating on building more of a gentleman’s cruiser. The R80 enjoys a renewed success today because parts are easily interchangeable with later models. They can easily be customized to look like a café racer or bobber and are guaranteed to put a smile on the face of the most frustrated Formula 1 driver.
3 Sick Ride: Sergio Perez's Ferrari 488 GTB
When you watch Sergio Perez, it’s clear that you are watching one of the best minds in the business. He is an incredibly thoughtful and precise driver and his car suits him perfectly, a Ferrari 488 GTB. The 488 was an experiment for Ferrari, given the world had fallen in love with their naturally aspirated V8s and the glorious sounds they produced. How would the public react to a bi-turbo, mid-engine Ferrari after all this time? There was really no need for concern because Ferrari knocked it out of the park with a car that is already becoming iconic. The 488 has up to 325 kg of speed-generated downforce and a lightning-quick transmission, enough to take Sergio Perez's mind off racing.
2 Lemon: Daniil Kvyat's Nissan 370Z
Whether he is copping drive-through penalties or clashing with other drivers, Daniil Kvyat is rarely out of the headlines these days. One car that is guaranteed to keep him out of trouble is his Nissan 370Z. Many people love the 370Z but despite being a huge Nissan fanboy, I am not one of them. It's partly due to the fact that there is not a good sounding 370Z anywhere in the world. No matter what you do to the exhaust, they all sound like someone playing the harmonica inside a tin can. Power is rated at 323 horses, which is not bad, but all the time you’re driving it, a voice in the back of your head is reminding you that you should have bought an Audi.
1 Sick Ride: Max Verstappen's Porsche GT3 RS
Verstappen won his first Grand Prix in Barcelona in 2016, catching the attention of Red Bull Racing, who signed him on and gave him a lucrative contract. To celebrate, Max bought a brand new Porsche GT3 RS. For some reason, he got stung on the markup, however—possibly due to extra import duties—having to pay $400,000, which is well above the rrp of $176,895 in the USA. Prior to buying his GT3, he was driving a Renault Clio RS and because of the cost of the purchase, he needed to get his father's permission. His father, Jos, is a retired F1 driver and serves as Max's financial advisor.
Sources: MSN, Racefans, and Petrolicious.