2017 RM Sotheby’s New York (Schumacher Monaco Ferrari Sold)

Michael Schumacher’s 2001 Monaco GP winning Ferrari F2001 sold for $7.5 million at the Sotheby’s Contemporary Art sale in New York.

2001 Ferrari F1 Sold at Sotheby's
© Courtesy of Sotheby’s

The 2001 Ferrari F2001 Formula 1 single-seater racing car that Michael Schumacher raced to victory in the Monaco and Hungarian Grands Prix races sold for $7,504,000 in the Sotheby’s Contemporary Art sale in New York. This is the highest price ever paid for a modern Formula 1 racing car.

Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari F2001

Action World Copyright © LAT Photograhic / Courtesy Sotheby’s

Michael Schumacher’s 2001 Ferrari F2001, chassis 211, sold for $7,504,000 at the Sotheby’s Contemporary Art sale in New York on November 16, 2017. The result was well in excess of RM Sotheby’s pre-sale estimate of $4,000,000 to $5,500,000.

Michael Schumacher achieved his fifth, and final, Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix victory in chassis 211 in 2001. He drove the same chassis to victory at the Hungaroring later in the year to clinch his fourth (of eventually seven) Formula 1 World Driver’s Championship with four races to spare. This was his second championship (of five) with Ferrari and secured Ferrari its 11th Constructor’s Championship.

The 2001 Ferrari F2001 was sold as it was raced with appropriate wear and chip marks. Although the car may be raced in historic events and the popular Corse Clienti events arranged by Ferrari, the car has been on static display since 2006 and thus will require considerable servicing to run on the road again.

The 2000 Ferrari F1 that Michael Schumacher won the Brazilian GP a year earlier, achieved a more modest $1.8 million at the RM Auctions Monterey 2014 sale. The record for a Schumacher-driven Ferrari previously was $3,198,500 paid at the Sotheby’s Maranello 2005 sale for the Ferrari Formula One F2004, chassis number 234, in which Schumacher won the Australian, Malaysian, Bahrain, Imola and Spanish races.

Side profile 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R Formula-1 racing car
1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R F1 – the Most-Expensive Car Ever Photo: Bonhams

The highest price ever paid for a Formula 1 single-seater racing car was $29,650,000 for a 1954 Mercedes Benz W196R at the Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed 2013 sale. At the time the result nearly doubled the world record price for a car at auction. This Mercedes is still the third most-expensive car on record.

Schumacher’s Ferrari F2001 at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Sale

Described by the two companies as “the ultimate culmination of the Sotheby’s and RM Sotheby’s partnership”, the presentation of the F2001 represents the first time a collector car was offered at a Sotheby’s art auction since the two companies joined forces in February 2015.

Contemporary Art is a dynamic combination of materials, methods, concepts and subjects that challenge traditional boundaries, in much the same way as the Ferrari F2001 with its extraordinary combination of design and balance. The offering of a car of this unparalleled historical significance at one of the most important Contemporary Art sales of the year will bring together collectors of the world’s most sought-after pieces in both categories.

1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione front quarter
Cymon Taylor ©2017 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

As with Christie’s decision to offer the $450 million Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi in a contemporary art sale, the F2001 was probably offered in the sale where the most money would be available. The car may have become available too late for the RM Sotheby’s Ferrari Maranello Sale and Sotheby’s Contemporary Art sale could possible provide a different public compared to RM Sotheby’s Icons sale in New York in December 2017 where the leading car is a 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione (estimate: $14 – 17 million).

The Le Mans winning 1964 Ferrari 275 P will be on offer at the Artcurial Paris Rétromobile classic car auction in February 2018.