Bonhams announced the Canadian 1991 Grand Prix winning Benetton B-191-02 Formula 1 car driven by Nelson Piquet and Michael Schumacher for the Spa sale.
A 1991 Benetton B-191-02 Formula 1 car is likely to be one of the highlights of the Bonhams Spa Classic 2017 car sale in Belgium in May. This racing far was famously raced to victory by Nelson Piquet in the Canadian 1991 Grand Prix and also driven by Michael Schumacher during his debut year in Formula 1. The pre-sale estimate is €750,000-900,000 ($806,000-967,000).
Bonhams Spa Francorchamps Sale 2017
Bonhams will hold its Spa Classic sale on 21 May 2017 at the legendary Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium.
Early highlights announced for the Spa sale include a collection of 12 classic motorcars that has been unearthed in a Swiss Schloss and will be offered, all without reserve. This continue the recent fad of including “collections” at classic car auctions and “Swiss” never hurts when mentioned in the same phrase as classic car.
Nelson Piquet’s 1991 Benetton Formula 1 Racing Car
The 1991 Benetton B-191-02 Formula 1 (€750,000-900,000) driven by Nelson Piquet and Michael Schumacher during the 1991 Grand Prix season will be on offer at the Bonhams Spa 2017 classic car auction. The car was introduced for the third Grand Prix of the 1991 season, and made its debut at San Marino with Roberto Moreno at the wheel, before he was replaced as driver by three-time World Drivers’ Champion Nelson Piquet.
Nelson Piquet drove this Benetton to a famous victory in Montréal. The 1991 Canadian Grand Prix was, to say the very least, dramatic. Nigel Mansell led from the start in his Williams, whilst Berger, Prost, and Senna all retired with various mechanical problems. By the final lap, Mansell still led Piquet, Modena, de Cesaris and Gachot. Slowing down at the L’Epingle hairpin to give the crowd a premature celebratory wave, Mansell forgot to change down which resulted in stalling his Renault V10 engine, allowing Piquet to zoom past and snatch a surprise victory!
The car later finished 5th in the British GP and 8th in France before it was handed over to Schumacher for the last two races of the season, in Japan and Australia. The car was retired in both races.
After the season closed, with the legendary Ayrton Senna clinching his third and final World Championship title, and Piquet sixth in the table, the car became a museum exhibit.
Piquet and Schumacher at Spa 1991
Earlier in the season,Nigel Piquet also drove the Benetton at the Spa 1991 Grand Prix race where the future seven-time Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher made his F1 debut in a Jordan at the legendary Belgian track in 1991 to immense acclaim. It is testament to his skill as a driver that he was able to qualify seventh in the race, despite having had to learn the track on two wheels rather than four. Schumacher cycled the famously tricky circuit on a fold-up bike which he had brought with him after his team mate Andrea de Cesaris was caught up in contract negotiations and unable to show him the course in time for the race.
Finishing just one place ahead of the young Schumacher was the Brazilian Nelson Piquet, racing the car on offer by Bonhams at the Spa 2017 sale.
1991 Benetton B-191-02 Formula 1 Racing Car
Capable of 650hp at 13,000 rpm, the 1991 Benetton B-191-02 was designed by John Barnard and Mike Coughlan. It is powered by a 3.5-litre Ford Cosworth HB V8 engine, has a moulded carbon-composite monocoque chassis and weighs in at just 505 kg.
In 2016, it underwent a complete rebuild by an F1 specialist team, including an overhaul of the engine, gearbox, chassis and safety equipment. It has been completely restored to its original condition, with the sole exception of updated security features in accordance with FIA regulations.
Presented in excellent running order, this is an opportunity to own a genuine, ‘on the button’ Grand Prix winning car driven by two of the greatest drivers ever to have taken to the tarmac.
Bonhams previously announced a 1958 Mercedes Benz 300 SL Roadster and a 1921 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Double Phaëton as part of a Swiss “castle find” collection that will be on offer without reserve at the Spa 2017 sale.