Sebastian Vettel has put his collection of supercars up for auction. The sale, organized by UK-based car dealer Tom Hartley Jnr is expected to raise two to three million pounds.
Vettel's collection of eight cars includes five Ferraris, two Mercedes-Benz and a BMW. All are very low mileage, with the Ferrari LaFerrari showing only 490 kilometers (305 miles) on the clock.
The German driver won four world championships consecutively with Red Bull Racing from 2010 to 2013. A subsequent stint at Ferrari was less fruitful, resulting in peak results of two seasons as runner-up to champion Lewis Hamilton across six years. For 2021, Vettel will be driving for Aston Martin.
Driver contracts have previously prevented F1 stars from being seen behind the wheel in rival machinery. When still under Ferrari contract in 2007 and competing at the end-of-season event, the Race of Champions, Michael Schumacher was barred from driving the Aston Martin due to his contract stipulations. There has been social media speculation that perhaps new employer Aston Martin had banned Sebastian Vettel from driving supercars bearing their competitors' badges.
Vettel keeps quiet on sale
This contract clause was something Aston Martin and Tom Hartley Jnr quickly denied, the latter stating: "This decision is definitely not about him wanting to sell because they are Ferraris,” and Vettel reportedly still owns a Ferrari F40.
New Aston Martin co-owner Lawrence Stroll, father of driver Lance Stroll, is himself one of the world's foremost collectors of Ferrari cars. His collection includes an F40, FXXK number 6 of 40, a 330 P4 and many other rarities.
Vettel, like his rival Lewis Hamilton, is known to have taken a keen interest in environmental concerns in recent years. Some have speculated that this enthusiasm may be behind the sale.
Regardless of Vettel's decision to sell these cars, he'll be looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the newly rebranded Aston Martin F1 car come the pre-season test in Bahrain.