Michael Schumacher’s Grand Prix-Winning Ferrari, the one he drove at Monaco finals in 2001, has sold for a jaw-dropping US$7.5 million in New York.
The bid which was handled by Sotheby’s on Thursday (Nov 16), set an auction record for a modern-era Formula 1 car, the organizers said.
Image from AFP/Patrick Kovarik shows German driver Michael Schumacher during celebrations for his successful race at the 1995 European Formula One Grand Prix in Nurburgring, Germany.
The Ferrari F2001, also referred to as Chassis #211, proved its worth for the German racer in his campaign to a fourth title out of his seven World Championships.
Media reports confirm earnings from the auction were initially set at US$4 to 5 million.
However, the outrageous price for Schumacher’s Ferrari at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale in Manhattan turned out with a totally incredible result. The car now holds record for the most expensive and valuable modern-era F1 car ever sold at auction.
The prized possession is famed for being Schumacher’s final winner; it was in this same F1 machinery that he won the 2001 Hungarian GP.
Schumacher, who has been voted as The Face of Formula 1 in a reader poll conducted by F1 Racing magazine, won a total of 9 races in the 2001 season, a record-breaking achievement for him and the Ferrari which also recorded as many points as McLaren driver David Coulthard, who finished second in that season.
The car sale was not Sotheby’s only highlight at this week’s auctions.
According to Sotheby’s, this is the first time a customized automobile was showcased in an art auction. The organizers remarked that their idea and decision was first criticized but now appreciated.
Sotheby’s vice president described the stylish fire-engine red car as ‘the very best racing car ever sold at an auction’ despite the fact that it wasn’t constructed as a work of art.
The German racing legend won a record seven titles and 91 victories in his fruitful career. He suffered serious head injuries in a skiing incident in 2013 and has been away from the spotlight. Fortunately, he made it out of coma and has since lived in Switzerland where he’s receiving medical attention.
Sotheby’s offered a total $310.2m worth of auctions and 96 percent of the items were sold.
Michael Schumacher was also voted the greatest Ferrari driver of all time. Sotheby’s had eight competitors under the hammer in a bid for his Ferrari F2001 racing car which lasted less than 6 minutes.
Another outstanding sale for the night was an iconic 1972 Andy Warhol portrait of the founder of Communist China, Mao Zedong. The item which sold for US$32.4 million was first exhibited in Berlin, Turin and Paris, but disappeared from auctions since 1974.
Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari is reportedly in good condition and fully functional, Sotheby’s said.