The 2013 Mercedes Formula 1 car raced by Lewis Hamilton to his first win for the team has smashed its estimate and sold at the Las Vegas Grand Prix for $18.8 million (approx. £15.1 million).

Mercedes W04 chassis #4 was campaigned by Hamilton - who joined the Three-Pointed Star for the 2013 season as team-mate to Nico Rosberg to end his six-year spell at McLaren - in 14 of the 19 rounds.

Most notably, Hamilton - who would win six of his seven titles with Mercedes - converted pole position to win the Hungarian GP ahead of Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen and Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel.

Of the further four podiums he bagged to finish fourth in the drivers’ championship, three were scored (third place in Malaysia, China and Belgian) aboard this car.

Chassis #4 became the first Hamilton-driven Mercedes F1 car to be offered for public sale, with renowned auction house RM Sotheby’s bringing the gavel down in Las Vegas on Saturday for $18.8m.

The car carried a pre-sale estimate of $10-15mn.

The auction was held at the Wynn’s Awakening Theater and hosted by TV presenter and writer James Corden.

At 39 lots, it was a relatively small sale. A Ferrari race suit believed to have been worn by Schumacher for his 2003 Italian GP victory fetched $102,000 (£81,800).

A 1990 Ferrari F40 GT, originally owned by the designer of the Mugello circuit and campaigned in the Italian GT series, failed to hit its reserve so did not sell on the night.

A replica Lando Norris was flogged for $10,800 (£8,700) to raise money for St. Jude Children's Hospital

Lewis Hamilton at Hungarian GP 2013

Sold for $29.6m (£23.7m) in 2013 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the record price for an F1 car was achieved by the 1954 Mercedes W196R in which Juan Manuel Fangio claimed his second of five titles.

The most expensive competition car ever sold was also a Mercedes, with an unraced 300SLR ‘Uhlenahut Coupe’ sportscar prototype changing hands in a private deal brokered by RM Sotheby’s.

Mercedes put the $143m (£115m) raised into establishing a global educational and research scholarship programme for young people that specialises in environmental science and decarbonisation.

At the Abu Dhabi season finale later this month, Bonhams will auctioon the 1978 championship-winning Lotus 79 (also chassis #4) as raced by Mario Andretti. It is forecasted to sell for as much as $9.5m (£7.6m).

Raikkonen’s 2006 McLaren MP4/21 and a 2001 Ferrari show car also lead the lot list.