Formula One (more commonly abbreviated as F1) has been the premier racing event of the year since 1950. The races offer intense thrills as drivers rocket around the course at eye-watering speeds, trying to come out on top.
These drivers are some of the best in the world and know how to push their cars to the absolute limit. Their skill is undeniable, and it is incredible for fans to watch the intense concentration required to navigate the world’s best courses at such extreme speeds.
With such a stressful and challenging job, it is no wonder these drivers like to have time to unwind by doing things they love. One common pastime shared by many is gambling.
Here are a handful of F1 drivers who love gambling and spending time on both the track and at the casino.
Known as one of the greatest F1 drivers of all time, Lewis Hamilton is a seven-time World Championship winner. Also famous for his lavish lifestyle, the Brit is often seen socialising with friends at the hottest clubs and movie premiers.
Another well-known fact about Hamilton is his love for gambling—which he doesn’t try to hide. He has been spotted in some of the world’s top casinos, from Monaco to New York to Sin City itself.
While he also enjoys sports betting and blackjack, his favourite pastime is playing poker. The jury is still out on whether he is as good at gambling as he is driving.
We do know that he has had at least one run-in with staff while visiting a casino in New Zealand. Because of this, rumour has it that he sometimes takes to gambling online because it is more convenient and keeps him out of excessive trouble.
Despite winning the F1 World Championship only once, Kimi Raikkonen is widely regarded as one of the most recognisable names in the sport. Aside from achieving 426 podium wins in his career, he also won the title of the fastest lap on 46 separate occasions.
When not racing around a track, he is known to have a particular love for poker. In 2009, he even took place in a celebrity poker tournament. However, little is known about how much he has made (or lost) while playing.
Rumour has it that he once participated in a poker match involving almost €500,000. While he may be a professional racing driver, this is a pretty big chunk of change, no matter who you are.
With the nickname “Iceman,” Kimi is known for his stoic demeanour, which serves him well when trying to remain unreadable during poker games.
As a two-time winner of the World Championship, Fernando Alonso is undoubtedly not shy about putting it all on the line for a win. He has proved this numerous times, none more memorable than when he simultaneously competed in F1 and FIA WEC Endurance.
His go-getter attitude clearly works, as he previously won the 24-hour Le Mans competition. It has also served him well in his private life, as evidenced by tweets in which a large stack of poker chips surrounds him.
Alonso makes no illusions about the fact that he loves a good game of poker and has competed in celebrity poker games to raise money for charity. There are also numerous rumours about him playing online casinos.
Son of another F1 driver, Jose Verstappen, Max began his career at a young age (17) and has propelled himself into the ranks of the most significant F1 drivers. Despite his young age, this talented driver won two F1 World Championships in 2021 and 2022, when he was only 24 and 25, respectively.
While it is unclear whether he likes to gamble online, Max has certainly been spotted at some of the best casinos in his home country of Monaco. When asked by the press, he stated that playing a poker game is a good way to relax before a big race.
As with other drivers, there is no mention of how much he’s won or lost while “relaxing.” However, if his poker skills are anything like his driving skills, we’re pretty sure he must make a decent profit when playing.
Even though Felipe Massa has never won a World Championship, this driver still holds a special place in the memory of F1 fans worldwide. One reason for this is his crushing defeat in San Paulo, where Lewis Hamilton clinched a victory by just one point.
The most significant, however, is his shocking accident in 2009 when he was struck by a piece of Ruben Barichello’s car. Knocking him unconscious, the driver ploughed into a wall at more than 125 mph (or 200 km/h). Thankfully, he recovered and returned to racing in 2010.
When not on the track, the driver enjoys poker and is known to have competed in professional tournaments from time to time. These have occurred in person at physical casinos and virtually at the online casinos reviewed on casinosource.ca.
There are plenty of other great F1 drivers who enjoy the thrill of gambling. Just some of these include:
- Michael Schumacher
- Sebastian Vettel
- Michael Andretti
- Nelson Piquet
- Nigel Mansell
- Giancarlo Fisichella
- Robert Kubica
- Nico Rosberg
- Juan Pablo Montoya