Seven-time F1 World Champion Sir Lewis Hamilton was always destined for greatness, having joined the McLaren young driver programme in 1998.
The most successful driver of all time, he has won more races than anyone else in history and has finished as World Champion a record-equalling seven times.
He’s been off the pace in 2022, although Mercedes are currently 118 points behind leaders Red Bull in the Constructors’ Championship standings and look set to miss out on team glory for the first time in nine years. (It could indicate that the car is at fault rather than the driver.)
Here’s what you need to know about the best Lewis Hamilton collectible cards to collect, as we take you through five top options.
The Top 5 Lewis Hamilton Cards
A number of premium Lewis Hamilton cards have been released over the past few years.
He made his Formula One debut with the McLaren team in 2007, and there are Lewis Hamilton rookie cards from that season. However, they’re nowhere near as popular as Topps sets from 2020 onwards.
5. 2021 Topps Chrome F1 Lewis Hamilton #1 (eBay)
2021 Topps Chrome F1 built on the debut release with a ridiculous number of Refractor parallels for cards from the base set. You’ll see the Hobby exclusive Red Checker Flag version in the image above.
In fact, you’ll find 23 different Hamilton cards in the set. In one of the more popular options,
Hamilton is pictured in a simple profile shot, staring at the camera while wearing his race gear.
- Parallels: Base Refractor (1:3), B&W RayWave (1:4 Lite), Checker Flag (1 per box), Purple/Green (1:36), Gold/Purple (1:79), Orange/Red (1:98), Red/Green (1:187), Purple #/399, Purple Checker Flag #/199, Green RayWave #/99 (Lite), Gold #/50, Gold Wave #/50, Gold Checker Flag #/50 (Hobby), Gold RayWave #/50 (Lite), Orange #/25, Orange Wave #/25, Orange Checker Flag #/25, Red #/5, Red Wave #/5, Red Checker Flag #/5 (Hobby), Red RayWave #/5 (Lite), Black RayWave 1/1 (Lite), SuperFractor 1/1, Printing Plates 1/1
4. 2020 Topps Dynasty F1 Lewis Hamilton #IILH (eBay)
In truth, any of the Lewis Hamilton patch autos are likely to be a solid investment, although the average collector is likely to be priced out. Once again, the same goes for any graded copies.
3. 2020 Topps Chrome F1 Lewis Hamilton #1 (eBay)
The flagship 2020 Topps Chrome F1 release, the next Lewis Hamilton card is found in the F1 Racers base collection.
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 also features the same cards, although they sell for a premium in comparison.)
- 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
2. 2020 Topps Chrome F1 Lewis Hamilton #LH (eBay)
If you’d prefer an autographed Lewis Hamilton card, the Chrome Autographs subset is the best place to start. (Unlike the other 2020 Topps Chrome cards mentioned so far, there are no Sapphire Edition inserts or autographs.)
With fewer Refractors and no Sapphire Edition to contend with, it’s hard to think of many flaws aside from the sticker autograph. It’s still one of his top collectibles, judging by recent sales.
- Refractor Parallels: Green #/99, Gold #/50, Gold Wave #/50, Orange #/25, Red #/5, SuperFractor 1/1, Printing Plates 1/1
1. 2020 Topps Chrome F1 Sapphire Lewis Hamilton #1 (eBay)
The Sapphire edition of 2020 Topps Chrome is a premium online-exclusive blue version of the 200-card base series. We’ve mentioned that autos and inserts were excluded, but that hasn’t stopped the Sapphire cards from being some of the most valuable overall.
As with the version listed above, base copies feature a shot of Lewis Hamilton with his hands clasped.
(You’ll also be able to find an image variation with the Sapphire card, shown in the image above.)
- Parallels: Aqua #/99, 70th Anniversary #/70, Gold #/50, Orange #/25, Purple #/10, Red #/5, Padparadscha 1/1
The Best Lewis Hamilton Cards: Buyers Guide
Are the newer releases really better than 2007 Lewis Hamilton rookie cards? Here are our thoughts.
You’ll have no issues when trying to locate cheaper Lewis Hamilton cards, as long as you stay away from the rarest parallels. Ungraded Sapphire cards can often sell for under $50, which is a good starting point.
Either the Lewis Hamilton auto or one of the Dynasty patches would be our top pick with an unlimited budget, but the Sapphire set offers a great mix of rarity and affordability.
Lewis Hamilton Cards: Final Thoughts
Lewis Hamilton is definitely up there in terms of GOAT contention, even if he’s struggling this season.
Former driver Ralf Schumacher is the latest detractor to weigh in on the subject, although he makes a fair point;
”Lewis Hamilton is the big loser of the season so far. George Russell was new to the team at the start of the season and is usually ahead of the runner-up world champion and is also stronger in qualifying. The “greatest driver of all time”, as Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff always calls it, is ironed out by a newcomer in a way that is already worrying. I’m amazed, because there are only two options: Either Russell is the new high-flyer, or Hamilton had such a strong car in recent years that has made up for a lot,” Schumacher said at Sky Germany.
If Hamilton never becomes the F1 Champion again, he’ll still be one of the greatest drivers ever. With an improved car, there’s always a chance that he could do it again. If he surpasses Michael Schumacher, his legacy will never be in doubt.
Hence the higher prices seen for the best Lewis Hamilton cards.