Formula One drivers’ cars for everyday use – George Russell hand-washes his precious Mercedes, Max Verstappen upgraded from the yellow Renault Clio his parents bought and Charles Leclerc cruises around Monaco in a £500k Ferrari

Formula One stars are part of a select few who are fortunate enough to travel the world and race the fastest cars ever made.

It’s hard, then, to imagine the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris stuck in rush-hour traffic during their rare days off.

But even the most talented drivers on the planet have to get around like the rest of us.

Despite earning a mammoth salary every year, most stars ditch the supercars to travel in comfort, with Lewis Hamilton admitting in 2022 that he finds every day driving ‘stressful’.

So, ahead of the 2024 Formula One season, what cars do the sport’s biggest stars drive on their days off?

Mail Sport has taken a deep dive on the cars F1 stars drive when they're not racing


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Mail Sport has taken a deep dive on the cars F1 stars drive when they’re not racing

Max Verstappen

You’d be forgiven for thinking the racing-obsessed Max Verstappen spends every waking minute on his simulator at home, such was the nature of his dominant performances in the RB19 last year.

But when he’s not thinking about racing, Verstappen opts for a more comfortable drive. In 2021, the Dutchman auctioned off a 2018 Honda Civic Type R, and was gifted a Honda NSX Type S from the manufacturer to add to his collection – valued at £5,863,480 by Auto Trader.

After the 2020 world championship, Verstappen treated himself to a Ferrari Monza SP2, worth just over £1.3million, and also owns an Aston Martin Valkyrie valued at £2.7m.

Yet the 26-year-old hasn’t always been blessed with supercars. His first car, gifted to him by his parents at the age of 17, was a yellow Renault Clio – a typical first car for a teenager.

Max Verstappen was at one with the RB19 but drives a far slower car in every day life
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Max Verstappen was at one with the RB19 but drives a far slower car in every day life

He recently auctioned off his Honda Civic Type R and once drove a Renault Clio
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He recently auctioned off his Honda Civic Type R and once drove a Renault Clio

Verstappen's first car was the humble yellow Renault Clio (stock image pictured)


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Verstappen’s first car was the humble yellow Renault Clio (stock image pictured)

Lewis Hamilton

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton undoubtedly boasts the best collection of cars of any driver in Formula One. According to Auto Trader, his haul is worth a staggering £27.8million.

The 1995 McLaren F1 is the priciest of his collection, costing an eye-watering £16.1million, while he also owns a Mercedes-AMG Project One (£2.1m), 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 (£1.1m) and a LaFerrari Aperta (£3.3m).

But it may come as a surprise to learn that Hamilton elects not to drive his impressive fleet of supercars.

‘I don’t drive any of the cars that I own any more,’ he said in 2020.

Instead, Hamilton chooses between two cars: his electric Mercedes EQC and a Smart car.

In an effort to reduce his carbon footprint, Hamilton drives the £80,000 saloon car, which can go from 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds.

Lewis Hamilton boasts an expensive collection of cars, including the 1995 McLaren F1
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Lewis Hamilton boasts an expensive collection of cars, including the 1995 McLaren F1

But these days he chooses between two electric vehicles: A Mercedes and a Smart car
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But these days he chooses between two electric vehicles: A Mercedes and a Smart car

‘Recently I’ve been making many changes in my life to reduce my impact on the environment,’ he said in an Instagram post alongside the car in 2020.

‘The first step in this journey was to understand my personal impact on the planet so I could make changes to improve it.

‘Since then, I have offset my carbon footprint from my Formula 1 career dating back to 2007, I have reduced travel where possible, I have gone plant-based and outside of the track, I try to use electric cars wherever possible.

‘This is my new dream car, the new EQS fully electric Mercedes.’

Carlos Sainz

Incredibly, Carlos Sainz bought his first car just one year ago.

The Ferrari star has stayed loyal to just one car for most of his adult life – a Volkswagen Golf GTI, bought for him by his parents after he turned 18.

The nifty hatchback, which sells for around £40,000, has served the Spaniard well but he finally upgraded at the start of 2023 when he purchased a tailor-made Ferrari 812 Competizione.

Reflecting on his new car, Sainz said on his YouTube channel: ‘It’s the first car I’m buying.

‘I’ve been in Formula One for nine years and as an ownerI have the one my parents bought me when I was 18, which is a Golf.

‘At the weekend I’m driving a Formula One car and it’s the fastest car ever. Everything else feels really, really bad.’

Until last year, Carlos Sainz solely drove his Volkswagen Golf GTI, gifted by his parents
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Until last year, Carlos Sainz solely drove his Volkswagen Golf GTI, gifted by his parents

Lando Norris

Like Hamilton, Lando Norris boasts an array of high-end sports cars, such as a Rolls-Royce Wraith and a Lamborghini Aventador. And like Hamilton, the Briton doesn’t particularly enjoy driving on public roads.

The cheapest car in the McLaren’s star collection, and therefore most likely to be used on a daily basis, is the Jaguar F-Type Roadster, a sleek sports car valued at just under £47,000.

Last summer, Norris was spotted driving a light-blue Fiat 500, modified to look like the manufacturer’s rare and iconic ‘Jolly’ car, which is an open-air convertible.

The 24-year-old was behind the wheel while model Magui Corciero – who has been linked with footballer Joao Felix – was sat in the back.

Lando Norris does not like driving on public roads but was seen in a modified Fiat 500
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Lando Norris does not like driving on public roads but was seen in a modified Fiat 500

He also owns an impressive range of supercars worth a total of £1.2million
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He also owns an impressive range of supercars worth a total of £1.2million

Charles Leclerc

Leclerc used to take the bus through the streets of Monaco for school, but these days he is able to enjoy an altogether more exciting drive around his hometown.

The Monegasque drives his customised Ferrari 458 Pista Spider on the streets of Monaco, which is understood to be worth north of £500,000.

Leclerc has paid tribute to his home nation by painting the bonnet with red and white stripes – in honour of the Monaco flag – while the rest of the car is painted black.

The 26-year-old made headlines recently when he was left stranded in the car after running out of petrol. In the end, he was assisted by a stranger who helped get his supercar to a nearby petrol station.

Charles Leclerc drives a Ferrari 458 Pista Spider around the streets of Monaco
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Charles Leclerc drives a Ferrari 458 Pista Spider around the streets of Monaco

The custom ride sets Leclerc apart from the other expensive cars around Monaco
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The custom ride sets Leclerc apart from the other expensive cars around Monaco

Fernando Alonso

Spanish veteran Fernando Alonso keeps things simple.

The 42-year-old was gifted a company car when he joined Aston Martin from Alpine at the end of the 2022 season, so drives the DBX luxury SUV on his days off.

He did formerly drive an Alpine A110, but had to leave the car behind when he left the French manufacturer.

His Aston Martin teammate, Lance Stroll, also drives the DBX, which will come as no surprise as his father, Lawrence, owns a stake in the car firm.

Spanish veteran Fernando Alonso drives a company car provided by Aston Martin
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Spanish veteran Fernando Alonso drives a company car provided by Aston Martin

Sergio Perez

Like Red Bull teammate Verstappen, Sergio Perez has been known to drive the Honda Civic Type R in his time.

But the father-of-three has also used more family-appropriate vehicles on a day-to-day basis.

The Mexican reportedly owns a  BMW X7, which is priced at over £100,000.

He also boasts a range of more expensive cars in his personal collection, including a Mercedes-AMG GT, McLaren 720S and a Bugatti Chiron.

George Russell

We don’t want to accuse George Russell of being a company man, but it is fair to say the British driver loves a Mercedes.

The talented racer is set to become his team’s No 1 driver when Hamilton leaves for Ferrari in 2025, and he has fully immersed himself in everything Mercedes away from the track.

Russell drives a Mercedes-AMG G 63, an off-roader better suited for the British countryside, while he also has an affection for Mini Mokes, which don’t have any roofs or doors.

He recently revealed that he typically uses a Mercedes-AMG C 63 S and washes it by hand, all by himself.

Russell drives for Mercedes and loves their cars away from the track as well
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Russell drives for Mercedes and loves their cars away from the track as well

George Russell is loyal to his F1 team, Mercedes, and likes driving 4x4 cars
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George Russell is loyal to his F1 team, Mercedes, and likes driving 4×4 cars

Daniel Ricciardo

Playing up to the Aussie stereotype, it will come as no surprise to learn that Daniel Ricciardo loves nothing more than driving a Ute on his days off. Specifically, a Toyota HiLux.

Loved by fans for his down-to-Earth personality, the charismatic racer has shared footage of himself driving his pickup truck while back home in Perth, Western Australia.

The 34-year-old uses his beloeved ute to carry his motorbikes and mountain bikes, while he also owns a Nissan Patrol.

Daniel Ricciardo plays up to the Australian stereotype and drives a Toyota HiLux
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Daniel Ricciardo plays up to the Australian stereotype and drives a Toyota HiLux

Valtteri Bottas

Former Mercedes man Valtteri Bottas has resolutely stuck with the manufactuer’s W204 C63 AMG coupe since being axed by the Silver Arrows.

The humble Finn also owns a Ferrari supercar, specifically the F40, while he has been given a company car by Alfa Romeo – the Stelvio SUV.

Valtteri Bottas drives a Mercedes W204 C63 AMG coupe and an Alfa Romeo company car
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Valtteri Bottas drives a Mercedes W204 C63 AMG coupe and an Alfa Romeo company car

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