The Best Formula 1 Cards to Invest In: 2022 

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A total of 441 million fans have watched Formula 1 on TV during the past 12 months, giving some indication of just how popular the sport is as of 2022. They’ve successfully broken into new markets, causing the New York Times to note;  

“With soaring attendance — a record three-day crowd of 420,000 attended the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, for example — the addition of Miami and Las Vegas, and the near-certainty that Formula 1 will return to South Africa, there is a sense the sport has cracked the big time.”

The point is, Formula 1 collectible cards are making a comeback in a big way. This has been helped in no small part by a strong selection of interesting racers, including a range of rookies, along with GOAT contenders like Lewis Hamilton

Here’s a roundup with five of the best Formula 1 cards to invest in for 2022. 

The Best Formula 1 Cards

The best F1 cards will feature one of the top racers, and is likely to have a serial number attached. 

5. 2020 Topps Chrome F1 Lewis Hamilton #1 (eBay)

The flagship 2020 Topps Chrome F1 release, this Lewis Hamilton card is found in the F1 Racers base set. 

Don’t be fooled by the lack of a signature; the serial numbered parallels can work out to be some of the most valuable Lewis Hamilton cards on the market when all is said and done. 

They feature a posed shot of the driver with his hands clasped together. There’s also an image variation, showing the driver while seated. 

(The 2020 Topps Chrome Sapphire F1 set mentioned below also features the same cards, although they sell for a premium price in comparison.)

Hamilton has struggled this season, so it could be the ideal opportunity to snag a copy for your personal collection.

  • Refractor Parallels: Refractor, Purple #/399, Gold #/50, Gold Wave #/50, Orange #/25, Orange Wave #/25, Red #/5, Red Wave #/5, SuperFractor 1/1, Printing Plates 1/1
  • 70th Anniversary Parallels: 70th Gold, 70th Orange, 70th Red, 70th SuperFractor

4. 2020 Topps Chrome F1 Lando Norris RC #LN (eBay)

Lando Norris is next up. If you’d prefer a signed Formula 1 rookie card, the Chrome Autographs subset is the best place to start. 

(Unlike the 2020 Topps Chrome card mentioned above, there are no Sapphire Edition inserts or autographs to chase.)

With fewer Refractors and no Sapphire Edition to contend with, it’s hard to think of many flaws aside from the sticker autograph, rather than being on-card. 

  • Refractor Parallels: Green #/99, Gold #/50, Gold Wave #/50, Orange #/25, Red #/5, SuperFractor 1/1, Printing Plates 1/1

3. 2020 Topps Chrome Sapphire Max Verstappen #6 (eBay)

Max Verstappen is another talented racer, having earned his first F1 drivers’ title in 2021 after it went down to the wire.

The Sapphire edition of 2020 Topps Chrome is a premium online-exclusive blue version of the 200-card base set discussed above. 

Autos and inserts were excluded, but that hasn’t stopped the Sapphire parallels from being some of the most valuable overall. 

The base version of the driver card (#6) has the same hands on hips image seen above. You’ll also be able to find an image variation, showing the driver while seated. Then there are the base Topps Chrome versions, which tend to be more affordable.

  • Parallels: Aqua #/99, 70th Anniversary #/70, Gold #/50, Orange #/25, Purple #/10, Red #/5, Padparadscha 1/1

2. 2020 Topps Chrome F1 Sapphire George Russell RC #19 (eBay)

George Russell is one of F1’s true success stories. He out-qualified team mate Robert Kubica at all 21 Grands Prix in his rookie season, putting Williams back on the podium in 2021.

This led to a Mercedes race seat alongside Lewis Hamilton for 2022. Russell has quickly become one of the biggest names in motorsport already at a young age.

George Russell can be found on seven different rookie cards in 2020 Topps Chrome Formula 1 Racing. 

Once again, we’d stick with the Sapphire collection, especially if you’re on the market for a high-end George Russell rookie card.

  • Parallels: Aqua #/99, 70th Anniversary #/70, Gold #/50, Orange #/25, Purple #/10, Red #/5, Padparadscha 1/1

1. 2016 Top Trumps Grand Prix Heroes Max Verstappen RC (eBay)

And now, time for something a little different. 

Top Trumps cards are often disregarded, but we’d make an exception for the 2016 Grand Prix Heroes collection. As one of the earliest Max Verstappen cards, it can be considered as an RC of sorts. 

Be aware of the rounded edges, which are easily damaged. The same goes for the black border. Of course, some collectors will avoid Top Trumps due to the lack of a print run and the busy design. 

The Best Formula 1 Cards: Buyers Guide 

What do we think of the current state of the market for the best F1 cards?

If you’re looking for budget options, we’d stick with one of the Topps Chrome sets, with a number of solid rookie cards found in the 2020 collection. 

The best overall investment would be between either Lewis Hamilton or Max Verstappen. The former is a safe bet given his legacy, while the latter is a bit riskier, but could see better returns in the future if he keeps racking up the wins. 

Final Thoughts 

The market for F1 cards is much bigger than you might have expected. F1 grew massively in terms of followers on social media platforms in 2021, with a 40 percent increase over all sites, bringing the total number to 49.1 million followers.

Video views increased by 50 percent to 7 billion, and visits to the F1 official website were up 44 percent, with over 7 billion. There are more eyes on the sport than ever before. This has also caused prices for the best F1 cards to rise accordingly.

Published by James Milin-Ashmore

Journalism gradate, freelance writer. Sports, tech, online security, collectibles.

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