In his long and distinguished Formula 1 career, Michael Schumacher was best known as Ferrari’s top driver, winning five of his seven F1 World Championships for the Italian automaker. With 2001 being one of the peak years of Schumacher’s career, one of the cars he drove in that championship-winning season was recently auctioned off in New York, fetching $7,504,000 and standing out in an evening that focused mainly on contemporary artwork.
The Ferrari F2001 in question was sold at last week’s RM Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale and is notable for being the car driven by Schumacher as he won the 2001 Monaco Grand Prix, his last win on the iconic track in a Formula 1 career that lasted over two decades. According to Autoweek, the car was also memorable for being driven in a “fondly remembered” era of Formula 1, back when Michael Schumacher and Ferrari were ruling the roost in the F1 scene, with 3.0-liter V10 engines being the norm of the day. Currently, F1 drivers use smaller, yet more economical turbocharged 1.6-liter V6 engines.
The 2001 Monaco Grand Prix was another successful event for Ferrari, as it saw Schumacher pick up his fourth win in seven races, as he drew closer to the halfway point of a season in which he won his second straight F1 World Championship for Ferrari and fourth overall since debuting in 1991. Schumacher’s teammate, Brazilian driver Rubens Barrichello also did very well for himself in Monte Carlo, ending up in second place to make it a 1-2 finish for Ferrari.
Although Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari F2001 was auctioned off at an art-themed event, Motor Authority noted that the car was classified as “usable art,” meaning it won’t merely be used for display purposes. Ferrari’s Corse Clienti program will allow the new owner to work alongside the automaker’s racing staff and test drivers as they drive the car on some of the world’s better-known racetracks.
All in all, Michael Schumacher’s 2001 Ferrari race car sold for $2 million more than the most optimistic estimate, as RM Sotheby’s was expecting the car to fetch a value between $4 million and $5.5 million. But Autoweek noted that it wasn’t the most expensive item auctioned off at the Sotheby’s event, as there were multiple paintings that sold for much more than just $7.5 million, including Three Studies of George Dyer, a Francis Bacon painting that was reportedly sold for $38,614,000.
[Featured Image by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images]