Michael Schumacher’s 2003 F1-winning Ferrari up for auction | Racing News

GENEVA: The Ferrari in which Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher drove to the 2003 world champion title will be auctioned by Sotheby’s on Wednesday.
The F2003-GA, Chassis 229 is estimated between 7.5 and 9.5 million Swiss francs (7.6 and 9.6 million dollars) when offered during Sotheby’s Luxury Week in Geneva.
It is “one of the most important Formula 1 cars of all time”, the auctioneers said.
Schumacher raced in the car nine times, winning five Grands Prix during the 2003 season and driving it when he clinched the title in Japan.
“It’s one of the Ferraris with the most victories in the manufacturer’s history, so it’s a very important car in the history of motor racing,” Vincent Luzuy, of the Sotheby’s subsidiary in charge of luxury car sales.
Designed by Rory Byrne and Ross Brawn, the F2003-GA featured a longer wheelbase to improve aerodynamics, he explained.
It was shown at the Spanish Grand Prix, the fifth race of the 2003 season. Chassis 229 is by far the most successful of the six F2003-GAs that were built.
Schumacher drove it to victory in Spain and also won the Austrian, Canadian, Italian and United States Grands Prix in the car.
He also won pole position in Spain, Austria and Italy in the car, and fastest laps in Austria, Italy and the United States.
The car propelled Schumacher to his sixth F1 title – a tally that saw the German surpass the five won by Argentinian Juan Manuel Fangio in the 1950s.
It also helped Ferrari win a 13th constructors’ championship – the Italian team’s fifth in a row.
“It’s a real pleasure to drive it,” said Schumacher’s F1 driver son Mick after driving the car around Ferrari’s Fiorano circuit.
“That’s when the cars sounded the best, drove the best,” he said, citing the three-liter V-10 engine.
Luzuy said such F1 cars are rare on the market.
“We have quite a few interested collectors,” he said.
“In 2017, we sold a car from the 2001 season also driven by Schumacher. At the time, we estimated the car at $3.5 million and in the end it sold for $7.5 million, so it proves that there is still a particular interest in these cars, especially those with such a history,” he said.
The car was sold in New York to an American buyer.
Schumacher has not been seen in public since sustaining serious injuries in a skiing accident in 2013.
Sotheby’s Geneva Luxury Week kicked off on Friday, with a range of designer jewellery, watches and handbags.
Jewelery enthusiasts can try to acquire a bright blue fancy cushion-cut diamond weighing 5.53 carats, estimated between 11 and 15 million Swiss francs.
It is part of the De Beers Exceptional Blue collection – a group of eight rare fancy blue diamonds worth a total of over $70 million, sold in Geneva, New York and Hong Kong.
Another exceptional lot is a fine emerald and diamond bracelet from the 1850s from the collection of Empress Eugénie (1826-1920), wife of the French Emperor Napoleon III. It is estimated between 60,000 and 80,000 Swiss francs.


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