A Ferrari F2001 raced in period by Michael Schumacher will be among the headline offerings at the 2017 RM Sotheby’s New York auction, scheduled for November 16 at Sotheby’s headquarters in Manhattan.
RM Sotheby’s said the Ferrari F2001, chassis 211, is the “most important modern Formula 1 race car and is amongst the most significant and most valuable competition cars in any collection worldwide.” The F2001, which contested the 2001 Formula 1 world championship, is the car in which seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher won the last of his five Monaco victories and in which he secured his fourth world title, with victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Chassis 211 is expected to fetch well in excess of $4 million.
The F2001 was a product of the Scuderia Ferrari ‘dream team’ led by Jean Todt, Ross Brawn, Rory Byrne and Paolo Martinelli, and it was the dominant machine of the season. It allowed Schumacher to match the outright record for Formula 1 wins — 51, held since 1993 by Alain Prost — then surpass it on his way to a new mark of 53 wins by season’s end. Schumacher would go on to take 91 grand prix wins during his storied career.
During the 2001 season, Schumacher won a total of nine grands prix in the F2001, taking the title at round 13, the Hungarian GP. His points tally of 123 almost doubled that of his nearest challenger, David Coulthard, who scored 65. Schumacher’s 2001 title was his fourth of seven and his second consecutive title for Ferrari. It came during a sequence of five straight drivers’ and constructors’ title wins for Michael and Ferrari between 2000 and 2004 — a period during which team and driver set records which may never be broken.
The F2001 represented state-of-the-art F1 chassis design, with its downforce-enhancing low nose and a tightly tucked Coke-bottle rear engine surround. Ferrari found further advantage by working hand-in-glove with Japanese tyre partners Bridgestone, who were fine-tuning their compounds and constructions to suit Schumacher’s particular requirements. Behind his shoulders sat a Ferrari Tipo 050 three-litre V10 engine, pushing out between 800 and 900bhp, depending on its state of tune, through a seven-speed semi-automatic transmission. Its scream at peak revs of 18,500rpm will never be forgotten by any who heard it.
Grégoire Billault, Head of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art, New York, commented: “We are pleased to join Ferrari’s 70th anniversary celebrations by offering Michael Schumacher’s Grand Prix winning Ferrari F2001 in November. Ferrari and Schumacher are the greatest names in motor-racing, with a place in the public imagination that is synonymous with the highest achievements in the field. It is therefore entirely fitting that we offer the car that represents the pinnacle of that success alongside the great names in Contemporary Art such as Warhol, Basquiat, and Johns.”
“The Ferrari F2001 we are unveiling in Hong Kong is one of the most important and valuable modern Formula 1 race cars in history,” says Ken Ahn, President, RM Sotheby’s. “This very car secured Ferrari their 11th of a record 15 Formula One Constructors’ Championships and Michael Schumacher his fourth of an unmatched seven Drivers’ Championships, placing it among the best of the best in the world of motorsport. It is our great pleasure to offer this car during Ferrari’s 70th anniversary year, a year in which the legendary marque also won its first Monaco Grand Prix since Schumacher secured his final Monaco victory in 2001 in chassis 211. Fresh on the heels of our highly successful sale with Ferrari at their anniversary celebrations in Maranello, the unveiling of the F2001 in Hong Kong and its presentation in New York this November not only represent the first time RM Sotheby’s has displayed or offered a motor car as part of a Sotheby’s art sale, but also further evidence of RM Sotheby’s leadership in the market for important Ferraris at auction.”
The F2001 can still today be piloted in historic racing and at full capability. Ferrari can house the car in Maranello and transport it worldwide for pre-arranged Corse Clienti events as well as private track days, where the next caretaker can enjoy the thrill of the car at speed in addition to tutelage from Ferrari’s own Formula 1 technicians, mechanics and test drivers. The opportunity to acquire a Ferrari Formula 1 car that won two Grand Prixes and led the greatest Formula 1 driver and the most successful Formula 1 manufacturer to two World Championship titles does not arise often.