F1 power couples: Five all-star relationships seen in the F1 paddock

Thomas Maher
Lewis Hamilton F1 and Nicole Scherzinger.

Lewis Hamilton and Nicole Scherzinger.

Success attracts success, as everyone knows, meaning Formula 1 personalities usually don’t struggle in the dating game. Here are some examples of F1 ‘power couples’.

Two of F1’s leading drivers have sparked plenty of interest from the celebrity world in recent months, thanks to Lewis Hamilton’s rumoured relationship with Hips Don’t Lie singer Shakira, and Fernando Alonso’s supposed dalliance with American popstar Taylor Swift.

F1 drivers and prominent personnel can usually be found dating supermodels, singers, and actresses – all of varying levels of stardom – but, on occasion, someone from F1 begins dating an A-list celebrity that supercedes the sphere of the sport itself.

Here are some examples of this type of relationship. For the sake of the argument, the person from outside the realm of F1 was famous in their own right before dating within F1.

Flavio Briatore and Naomi Campbell

The Italian businessman and former Benetton team boss is currently dating 24-year-old student Bernadetta Bosi, with the 73-year-old known for his playboy ways over the past few decades.

Briatore has previously dated RAI showgirl and model Adriana Volpe, models Kat Mack and Nadine Smith, actresses Gabriela Stern and Moran Atias, Miss Poland 2006 Marzena Cieslik, as well as Bruce Willis’ now-wife Emily Willis.

Briatore had a famous, and short, relationship with German model Heidi Klum in 2002, with Briatore vying for her attention that year as she also dated the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ frontman Anthony Kiedis. Klum would go on to date Jamiroquai’s Jay Kay shortly after, before marrying the singer Seal – they divorced in 2014.

Briatore’s most serious relationships have been with Italian TV presenter Elisabetta Gregoraci, to whom he was married between 2008 and 2017. But between 1999 and 2003, with Briatore in charge of engine supplier Supertec before returning to the helm at Enstone as Renault returned in 2001, the Italian dated famous supermodel Naomi Campbell. They were engaged in March 1999 but later separated in 2003.

Flavio Briatore with Naomi Campbell, 1999.
Flavio Briatore with Naomi Campbell, 1999.

Jacques Villeneuve and Dannii Minogue

The 1997 F1 World Champion has been linked to some pretty famous names in the past, with Villeneuve rumoured to have dated Australian singer Natalie Imbruglia and Swiss tennis star Martina Hingis.

The year after his famous title victory, Villeneuve began dating Singaporean-born British violinist Vanessa Mae, before his next relationship with Dannii Minogue.

Younger sister of Australian pop star Kylie, Minogue had a string of chart hits during the 1990s and continues to lead a music career alongside her TV presenting work. Minogue and Villeneuve were engaged between 1999 and 2001 but the marriage never went ahead and they split after realising it wasn’t meant to be.

‘Their relationship has been cooling for a while and I think they both realised marriage was maybe not for the best,” a friend of the couple told The Sun.

“There have been rows as well. Their romance has been very full-on since they started dating nearly two years ago. The honeymoon period is very much over now and they have decided to call it a day.”

PlanetF1.com recommends

F1 drivers and their partners: Who are the grid currently dating or married to?

Explained: Why do most F1 drivers choose to live in Monaco?

Fernando Alonso and Raquel del Rosario

Alonso may be enjoying the single life nowadays, allegedly currently dating DAZN TV reporter Melissa Jimenez, but the Spaniard has had relationships with broadcaster Andrea Schlager and Italian model Linda Morselli in recent years.

Alonso was in a five-year marriage to Spanish singer Raquel del Rosario between 2006 and 2011, with Del Rosario being the lead singer for the band El Sueno De Morfeo.

She represented Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2013, finishing second last.

Alonso quickly moved on after their marriage break-up, as he began dating 22-year-old Russian model Dasha Kapustina almost immediately following their divorce.

Fernando Alonso with Raquel del Rosario.
Fernando Alonso with Raquel del Rosario.

Lewis Hamilton and Nicole Scherzinger

While Lewis Hamilton is rumoured to be currently dating popstar singer Shakira, the seven-time World Champion has a long list of famous names on his exes list.

Rihanna and Nicki Minaj are both rumoured to have dated Hamilton in the past, as are Janelle Monae, Winnie Harlow, and Rita Ora while Hamilton is also believed to have had a relationship with Chris Pratt’s wife, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s daughter Katherine.

Hamilton’s most famous relationship was with Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger, whom Hamilton met and began a relationship with early on in his F1 career. Scherzinger was a frequent visitor to the McLaren garage during Hamilton’s maiden title-winning season, and became a mainstay of the TV coverage from the garage as Hamilton’s fight with Felipe Massa intensified late in the season.

While their relationship was an ‘off/on’ situation for several years, it was permanently switched off in 2015 as the pair went their separate ways – purportedly as she wanted marriage, while he didn’t.

Christian Horner and Geri Halliwell

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has been married to former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell since 2015, having met through his work. Horner was previously married to Beverley Allen, with the couple separating shortly after she gave birth to their first child – Olivia – together.

The nature of their split led to a family feud, with Horner’s parents refusing to attend the wedding of Horner to Halliwell.

While the relationship ended in less than amicable circumstances, Horner and Allen continue to co-parent Olivia with Halliwell, as well as their other children Bluebell and Monty.

“I have a great relationship with Beverley and Beverley gets on with Geri,” Horner said recently. “And Geri is great with Olivia and Olivia has a lovely relationship with Monty. It’s totally harmonious.”

While her Spice Girls days are well behind her, Halliwell, who has since taken on the Horner surname since marriage, is worth a reported £31.5 million from royalties from her song-writing and is a regular fixture in the Red Bull garage where she cheers on Max Verstappen.

Both Horner and Halliwell have also been regular contributors to the Netflix docuseries Drive to Survive, offering a behind-the-scenes look at their life together in the British countryside while chatting about Horner’s work in F1.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner pictured with Geri Halliwell at the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner pictured with Geri Halliwell at the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix.

Honourable mentions

Jenson Button is married to former Playboy model Brittny Ward since early last year, but was previously married to Japanese model Jessica Michibata after a long relationship. Button also dated models Florence Brudenell-Bruce and was briefly engaged to UK singer Louise Griffiths during the early days of his F1 career.

On the current F1 grid, Alex Albon is dating Muni ‘Lily’ He, a Chinese professional golfer, while Valtteri Bottas is dating Australian professional cyclist Tiffany Cromwell – he was previously married to Finnish Olympic swimmer Emilia Pikkarainen.

Kimi Raikkonen is now happily married to Minttu Raikkonen, but was previously married to Finnish model and Miss Scandinavia Jenni Dahlman.

During his F1 career, Ayrton Senna dated Brazilian TV presenter Xuxa and American model Carol Alt. At the time of his death, he was dating Brazilian TV personality Adriane Galisteau.

Former Jordan, Ferrari, and Jaguar racer Eddie Irvine is also rumoured to have dated Pamela Anderson shortly after his F1 career came to an end, although the actress has downplayed the extent of their relationship by saying Eddie was “too sweet” for her.