Formula 1 star Lewis Hamilton joining Denver Broncos' ownership group

Seven-time Formula 1 racing champion Lewis Hamilton hit the sport's summer break after a second-place finish at the Hungary Grand Prix on Sunday and added a new title to his extensive collection on Tuesday.

Hamilton is joining the Denver Broncos’ new ownership group as a limited shareholder, the franchise announced Tuesday morning.

“(Hamilton) is a champion competitor who knows what it takes to lead a winning team and a fierce advocate for global equity, including in his own sport,” Walmart heir and the franchise’s incoming controlling owner, Rob Walton, said in a statement. “With over 100 race wins, Lewis is considered the most successful F1 driver of all time. His resilient spirit and standard of excellence will be an asset to the ownership group and the Broncos organization.”

Hamilton is the third known limited shareholder to join the Walton-Penner ownership group, which is headed by Walton, his daughter, Carrie Walton, and son-in-law, Greg Penner. The champion driver joins former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Ariel Investments co-CEO and Starbucks chairwoman Mellody Hobson as minority investors in the ownership group.

"Excited to join an incredible group of owners and become a part of the Broncos story!!," Hamilton said in a tweet Tuesday. "Honoured to work with a world class team and serve as an example of the value of more diverse leadership across all sports."

Lewis Hamilton salutes the crowd with his third-place trophy after the Montreal Grand Prix in June.

Hamilton, the Mercedes driver, won his first F1 world title in 2008, then won the series championship in six of seven years between 2014-20. He has won 103 races, the most in the sport’s history.

Not only that, but Hamilton has long been the sport’s preeminent voice for advocacy on several issues, including racial equality. He is the only current Black driver in F1, the top racing league in the world.

Hamilton owns a home in Colorado and has told news outlets in the past that he spends parts of the winter there. 

The financial details, equity stakes and any potential roles in the organization for Hamilton, Rice and Hobson have not been disclosed. 

The Walton-Penner Family ownership group is expected to be formally approved by a full league ownership vote Aug. 9 in Minneapolis. That is the final step after the group received approval from the league's finance committee last week. 

The Walton-Penner group agreed to buy the Broncos for a record $4.65 billion in June after the franchise was put up for sale by the Patrick D. Bowlen Trust in February.