Schumacher's championship-winning Ferrari F2001 sells for $11m
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A Ferrari Formula 1 car that the great Michael Schumacher drove in, and secured, the 2001 Drivers' Championship has exceed pre-auction estimates to become the most expensive modern Formula 1 racing car ever sold. Specifically, Ferrari F2001 chassis 221, sold in RM Sotheby's Contemporary Art Auction in New York for US$7,504,000 (NZ$11 million).
The Ferrari F2001 was one of the most dominant Formula 1 cars ever built, finishing on the podium at every race it entered during the 2001 championship. Schumacher won nine of the 17 rounds in the F2001, finishing the year with almost twice as many points as McLaren's David Coulthard in second place (123 - 65).
Chassis 221 was driven by Schumacher in warm-up and qualifying stints at Barcelona, Montreal, the Nurburgring, Magny-Cours, Spa-Francorchamps and Monza in 2001. The chassis was then used to back-to-back wins at Monaco and the Hungaroring, securing Schumacher's fourth Driver’s Championship with 4 races still to go, and helping Ferrari win its 11th Constructor’s Championship.
As it was sold, chassis 221 is still fully operational, powered by a screaming 3.0-litre V10 that can rev up to 18,500 rpm. So the new buyer could, if he/she wanted, use the Formula 1 car in historic racing events or in Ferrari's Corse Clienti program.
The pre-auction estimate of $5.8-$8 million on the historic race car was blown out of the water once bidding finished at $11 million. F2001 chassis 221 surpassed the previous sales record for a modern Formula 1 car which, funny enough, was held by another ex-Michael Schumacher Ferrari - a championship-winning F2004 that sold for $4.7 million in 2005.