The Surprising Reason Lewis Hamilton Sold His $29 Million Private Jet

It's not surprising that Formula 1 racecar driver Lewis Hamilton's private vehicle fleet would be extraordinary. He is known to have a garage full of exotic luxury supercars including extremely rare ones. He also once had a private jet — a cherry-red Bombardier Challenger 605 — in his vehicle collection. According to The Sun, the seven-time champion driver acquired it in 2013. Fans were able to get peeks of the exclusive jet, as Hamilton frequently posted photos of him posing alongside it as well as showing off his vegan bulldog Coco, who was a regular passenger on board.

He was known to fly around the world with it and bore a custom G-LCDH tag which stood for his full name: Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton. His ownership of the jet was a source of controversy. In 2016, the British F1 star was named in the infamous Paradise Papers. NBC reports that the leaked documents showed Hamiliton had "avoided paying more than $4 million in taxes for a private jet," after importing the jet to the Isle of Man in 2013. To respond to these claims, his lawyers released a statement stating that registering the jet in the Isle of Man, a well-known tax haven, is legal.

Hamilton's jet also raised eyebrows when he reportedly lost his temper with the plane's pilot after he used the star's private bathroom onboard (via The Sun).

Why did he sell his Private Jet?

Hamilton has been an advocate for sustainable living and has publicly spoken about it a number of times on his social media. In a 2020 Instagram post, he spoke about his journey toward living a greener and healthier lifestyle. He wrote, "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, and I have reduced travel where possible." He also pointed out to his followers that he now lives a plant-based diet, and drives electric vehicles whenever he is able to.

This post got mixed reactions from his audience, some openly mocking Hamilton, because they thought it came off as a little out of touch as he was flaunting his brand-new electronic Mercedes EQS to his millions of followers (via The Daily Mail).

Despite questions people may have about the level of his commitment to reducing his carbon footprint, The Sun reported that Hamilton made good on his pledge and sold his $29 million dollar private jet in February 2019. It is now owned by a private jet company in the United Kingdom, Saxon Air, and it's based at Norwich Airport.