Winning Michael Schumacher Ferrari F1 car set for $US8 million sale


The 1998 Type F300 which Schumacher “loved like a baby” is up for auction in August as prices for Grand Prix-winning cars soar.

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One of the pivotal cars in Michael Schumacher’s Formula One career – which carried him to four victories for Ferrari in the 1998 season – is up for sale.

It could easily top $AU10 million when it is auctioned by RM Sotheby’s in the USA next month following the sale of two of British F1 champion Nigel Mansell’s former race cars — a 1991 Williams-Renault FW14 and a 1989 Ferrari 640 — for a combined total of more than $12 million.

The car, a type F300 with the chassis number 187, is being auctioned in ‘as raced’ condition after being sold by Ferrari and retired into a private collection at the end of 1999.

Its main claim to fame is that it was never beaten in Schumacher’s hands, although he lost the 1998 world title to Mika Hakkinen of McLaren.

According to Schumacher’s boss at Ferrari at the time, Jean Todt, the German megastar “loved this car like a baby”.

“The car had a
special meaning for him, so much emotion,” Todt said in a video made for the sale.

“We knew we were starting to be protagonists, to be able to win races. Michael knew that the team were there. It was just a question of making the last steps.”

The car is one of nine ‘type F300’ racers produced by Ferrari and is powered by a 3.0-litre V12 engine.

It first appeared at the Monaco Grand Prix, where it was a spare car and used by Schumacher’s team-mate Eddie Irvine to race to third place.

Schumacher raced chassis number 187 for the first time at the Canadian Grand Prix, where he won.

Three more victories with the car followed, in France, Britain and Italy.

The history of the car following its retirement from racing is as well detailed, as its competition record, according to RM Sotheby’s.

“The Scuderia retained chassis 187 until September 1999, when it was sold directly, and privately, to the previous owner (along with a small package of spares) in the same race-used condition in which it remains today,” said the official catalogue.

“In their 23 years of custodianship, chassis 187 has been treated as a closely held and entirely preserved specimen of Formula One history. It has remained shielded from the public during this time, has never been restored or altered from its as-raced condition, and is now publicly offered for sale (and viewing) for the first time in
its history.”

The F300 is one of the stars of the upcoming action by RM Sotheby’s at Monterey, during the annual Car Week that culminates in the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance event.

Its sale follows a number of high-profile auctions for retired Grand Prix cars, including the two F1 racers from Mansell’s private collection.

Both cars were sold by RM Sotheby’s in the glitzy week of the Monaco Grand Prix in May.

The more famous of Mansell’s cars is the Williams FW14 – known as ‘the Senna taxi’ because he gave Ayrton Senna a lift back to the pits after his car had stopped in the 1991 British Grand Prix.

Mansell won five races with the car but it was sold without its V10 engine, which was reclaimed by Renault once it was retired from racing.

Even so, it sold for $AU5.99 million.

The Ferrari owned by Mansell is one of the key cars in Formula One, as it was the first to win — at the Brazilian Grand Prix in 1989 — with a semi-automatic gearbox and paddle shifters.

It easily topped its pre-sale estimate and eventually sold for $AU6.2 million.

“It is clear that the market for historic Formula One cars is stronger than ever,” said RM Sotheby’s director of sales in Europe, Augustin Sabatié-Garat.

Paul Gover

Paul Gover has been a motoring journalist for more than 40 years, working on newspapers, magazines, websites, radio and television. A qualified general news journalist and sports reporter, his passion for motoring led him to Wheels, Motor, Car Australia, Which Car and Auto Action magazines. He is a champion racing driver as well as a World Car of the Year judge.

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