14.09.2023 - Showbiz

The Formula 1 drivers with the highest luxury status

Formula 1 is considered the most prestigious and glamorous motor-racing competition in the world. To preserve this image and attract an elite crowd, every aspect of the event must represent luxury, including the partnerships and drivers themselves.

Luxury watches have long been closely tied with Formula 1 as they represent wealth, taste, and sophistication. In a sport where timing is everything, and cutting-edge technology plays a huge role, the platform is also a no-brainer for watch brands.

Partnerships with first-class watchmakers often involve the Formula 1 drivers wearing the expensive timepieces in public and in recent years, on social media. But which driver has the most clout?

We decided to find out which of this year’s Formula 1 drivers is the most successful at heightening their status using luxury watches (the ultimate status symbol).

We analysed Instagram posts featuring luxury watches from all of the drivers, to find out who was wearing the most expensive timepieces and who had the most engagement on their post. We also included their Formula 1 points because their status is, of course, largely made up of their driving career.

So, who are the ten Formula 1 drivers with the highest luxury status?

10) Alexander Albon

Alexander Albon begins the list in the tenth spot. While he’s currently in the 13th position in the Formula 1 season, our research found that his status ranking is slightly higher.

On Instagram, where the driver has just over 2 million followers, Albon posted a photo of himself wearing the Bremont Supermarine Williams Racing watch. The post received more than 165,000 likes and 668 comments, which shows good engagement from his followers.

However, priced at £6,295, this watch has the lowest value out of the timepieces included in our ranking system, which unfortunately brings his status down.

While less expensive, this watch is still a symbol of luxury as it combines British heritage with precision engineering. The watch is also designed in close partnership with Williams Racing — with each timepiece coming with a certified original wheel nut from a historic Williams Racing car.

9) Sergio Perez

While Sergio Perez is currently in second position in the Formula 1 season, he only placed ninth in our ranking of status levels.

Earlier this year, the driver shared a photo of himself signing autographs while rocking the Tag Heuer Monaco watch. The special edition watch — priced at £7,850 — was released to mark the Monaco Grand Prix in 2022. Due to its all-black design, the watch has become known as the ‘dark lord’. However, compared to the other watches in our findings, its value is on the lower end of the spectrum.

This post gained just over 200,000 likes and 714 comments, which is a reasonable amount but unfortunately falls short of competing with his fellow drivers.

In a recent YouGov survey, Perez was found to be the most popular contemporary Formula 1 personality among Generation Xers. As Instagram’s key demographic is people aged between 18 and 24, it’s possible his fanbase is following his career elsewhere.

8) Max Verstappen

Formula 1 superstar, Max Verstappen, is currently leading the season in first place with his impressive driving skills. Yet, when it comes to his status, there’s room left to grow.

Verstappen has regularly featured the Tag Heuer Monaco Chronograph on his Instagram profile, which is priced at nearly £10,000. While this is no small sum, it’s the third cheapest watch featured in this research which dampens his status slightly.

In August, the driver posted a photo with the blue watch clearly on display, which garnered more than 211,000 likes and 600 comments. Considering Verstappen has the third most followers out of the drivers mentioned, this engagement rate is quite low.

7) Oscar Piastri

In the seventh spot is Oscar Piastri and since he’s currently in the 9th Formula 1 position, his luxury status could be nearly twice as powerful as his driving career.

Earlier this year, Piastri shared a photo of himself wearing the RM 67-02 Automatic Extra Flat watch, which gained nearly 47,000 likes and just 150 comments. These statistics are the lowest out of the drivers featured on this list, mirroring his lower following of 1.1 million.

However, the Richard Mille watch’s high value of £225,950 increased his status. The luxurious timepiece is the brand’s lightest automatic watch, weighing only 32 grams. While there are several versions of the RM 67-02, Piastri was wearing the German tennis player Alexander Zverev’s signature model. The young driver’s watch is one of the most expensive in our research.

6) Lando Norris

Lando Norris follows in sixth place, with the same extravagant watch as Oscar Piastri. While the value is of course the same as Piastri’s, Norris outbeats his status with superior social media engagement.

When Norris posted a photo of himself wearing the same Richard Mille watch, he got nearly seven times the likes that Piastri did and received 857 comments.

The McLaren driver is also further up the Formula 1 season standings, currently being at number seven, which contributes to his higher ranking in our list.

Norris, unfortunately, had a previous Richard Mille watch taken in a 2020 robbery, but has since replaced the stolen timepiece.

5) Pierre Gasly

While Pierre Gasly is 11th in the Formula 1 season, he’s jumped to fifth place in our ranking of influence and reputation. A photo of Gasly at the Cannes Film Festival wearing a tuxedo and the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Tourbillon Chronograph watch gained around 413,000 likes and 643 comments.

The sophisticated timepiece has a classic aesthetic while masterfully combining two different mechanisms — the chronograph and the tourbillon. This stylish watch is a perfect status symbol for somebody attending the esteemed film festival and building their own brand.

Despite having some of the lowest points in the season, Gasly has the fourth most Instagram likes and the fifth most expensive watch out of the drivers, showing his status is growing faster than even Formula 1 driving can keep up with.

4) Carlos Sainz

Carlos Sainz earned the fourth highest ranking status by sporting the second most expensive watch from our analysis. Earlier this year, the driver shared a photo of him wearing the RM 67-02 Automatic watch, which is worth just under £260,000.

Sainz featured the watch on his Instagram before it was even released, demonstrating his exclusive access to luxury goods. The watch, which as mentioned is known for its lightness, features the colours of the Spanish flag — representing Sainz’s heritage.

The post garnered almost 477,500 likes and just under 900 comments. Sainz also has the third-highest Instagram followers out of the drivers and in the YouGov survey, he was the most well-known among baby boomers. Considering Instagram’s biggest demographic is people aged 18-24, Sainz is reaching a varied audience for his fanbase.

Unfortunately, Sainz was recently targeted by thieves who tried to steal his RM 67-02 watch. However, the driver successfully retrieved his expensive timepiece after bravely chasing down the robbers.

3) Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton is arguably the best-known Formula 1 driver to many, including people who don’t follow the sport. In the YouGov poll, he was voted as the most famous and popular contemporary Formula 1 personality. As well as his stellar and record-breaking career, Hamilton’s high-profile dating history with A-listers such as Nicole Scherzinger likely contributed to his celebrity status.

However, despite having the most Instagram followers — more than 34 million — the likes to his post didn’t make the cut. Hamilton shared a photo of him wearing the impressive Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Top Gun Lake Tahoe (worth nearly £35,000), which garnered just over 800,000 likes.

While this is still an impressive figure, it’s not quite enough to get him the highest status on our list. It’s also worth noting that in this Formula 1 season, Lewis is currently in the third position, which is of course admirable but still far from his four-season winning streak from 2016-20. However, Hamilton still owns the F1 record for career race victories and is tied with Michael Schumacher for the most drivers’ championships!

2) Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso has reached the second spot for high-status! The Aston Martin driver currently has the number four position in the Formula 1 season, and his Instagram presence is respectable but not as strong as the other drivers. However, the value of his watch featured on the platform is worth much more.

The Formula 1 star doesn’t post many photos of himself wearing watches but last year, he shared a product photo of his RM47 Samurai watch which is worth a staggering £851,531!

Alonso partnered with Richard Mille on the watch, which explores the driver’s passion for Japanese traditional arts and the Samurai principles. Only 75 of the impressive watch was made which feature samurai armour created from 3N yellow gold that was entirely hand-engraved.

1) Charles Leclerc

Although Charles Leclerc is only currently in position six of the Formula 1 season, his social media presence has earned him the top spot for clout.

Unfortunately, Leclerc has also been a victim of having a timepiece stolen in the past but that hasn’t put him off from displaying his collection. His latest Richard Mille RM 67 isn’t the costliest watch worn by the drivers (although it comes close), but when he posted a photo of himself wearing it on Instagram, it earned a whopping 1,144,403 likes! The post also garnered more than 2,000 comments — the second highest among the posts analysed in this research.

Leclerc has almost 12 million Instagram followers, proving he’s not shying away from the fame and attention his job brings. Even though there are still drivers with more followers or that post more often, Leclerc’s post has the most engagement which suggests his fans are the most invested in his lifestyle.

Image, fanbase and reputation are all important for a Formula 1 driver’s career and wearing luxury watches is a perfect way to engage all three aspects and boost their status.

*All positions and statistics accurate the the time of writing



Luxe Watches analysed Instagram posts from the drivers and found the value of the watches featured.