Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton has splashed out £18 million on a mansion in one of the country’s most exclusive enclaves. The mansion in Kensington, westLondon was put on the market last month by Burberry chief designer Christopher Bailey, 46, and his husband, actor Simon Woods, 37. The pair had shared the home since 2013 when they bought it from financier and environmentalist Ben Goldsmith and his ex-wife, Kate Rothschild.
He currently earns £32m a year and became the fifth driver in Formula One history to reach the four-championships landmark when he clinched the title in Mexico in October. This year’s Sunday Times Rich List put his personal wealth at £131 million. His new home in one of the capital’s most desirable districts has a large front garden, parking and garage, alongside a kitchen/family/dining room which opens out onto the garden.
It remains unclear whether the F1 ace – who has flats in Monte Carlo and New York worth a combined £34m – will live in the property, however. It was reported when details of the Paradise Papers came to light last month how Hamilton was given a £3.3million VAT refund on his £16.5m private jet after the aircraft was imported into the Isle of Man in 2013.
Any private jet purchased outside the European Union is subject to 20% VAT, in order to move freely around the continent. Under UK and EU legislation he would have been entitled to a VAT rebate on the jet if it was to be used purely for business purposes. However, documents suggest that around a third of Hamilton’s journeys were for private trips.
A spokesman for the 32-year-old Mercedes driver said that the deal was ‘above board’ and that ‘the matter was now in the hands of his lawyers’. Hamilton’s lawyers said there had been no illegal activity, but admitted no VAT had been paid on the plane. The house was bought by the Goldsmith Family Trust for £5 million in 2002 and Ben and Kate Goldsmith before being put on the market for £20 million in 2012 after their acrimonious split.
After they split Kate continued to live in the home while she dated the hip hop star Jay Electronica. Heiress Kate, a scion of the Rothschild banking dynasty, has three children with Mr Goldsmith, son of the late billionaire Sir James Goldsmith.