The car which helped Michael Schumacher dominate the 2001 Formula 1 World Championship has sold at auction for $7,504,000, a record amount for a modern-era F1 car.
Interestingly, the car was sold by Sotheby's at one of the auction house’s contemporary art events, which took place on Thursday in New York City. It was the first time a car was sold at a Sotheby’s art auction, and the bidding was furious, with eight bidders pushing the price to almost double the $4 million estimate.
The car’s official title is F2001 and this particular example is chassis no. 211. It was piloted by Schumacher to two victories in 2001, one of which was the Monaco Grand Prix. It was the fifth and final time Schumacher won in Monaco, although the German would go on to win three of his seven world titles after the 2001 season.
This was when Ferrari was in its peak performance and Schumacher in his prime, thus making the car one of the most significant and valuable race cars in any collection worldwide.
And it isn’t for display purposes only. Described as “usable art,” the car is in full working condition.
Via Ferrari’s Corse Clienti program, the new owner will be able to drive it on top race tracks around the world with tutelage from Ferrari’s own F1 technicians, mechanics, and test drivers.
The F2001 is an evolution of the previous season’s F12000, with the key external differences being the noticeably smaller bargeboards beside the monocoque, and the nose drooping to the front wing much more than before. The engine is a 3.0-liter V-10 capable of revving to over 18,000 rpm and delivering a peak output of between 800 and 900 horsepower.
Sadly, there’s been little positive news on Schumacher’s condition since his skiing accident in late 2013 that caused serious injury to his head. He is currently recovering at the family home in Switzerland, though in a rare update in 2016 we learned that he cannot walk.