What’s the Powerball lotto up to this week? Any amount we might consider noteworthy, like $100 million? Because there’s something we want to buy, and it’ll probably require a fair old stack of greenbacks.
But it’ll be worth it. And when we win, we’ll invite all of you over to check out the fruits of our good fortune: a Michael Schumacher Formula 1 car.
Specifically, Ferrari F1-2000 Chassis 198, which he drove to two pole positions and one victory on his way to the 2000 F1 Driver’s Championship. Sotheby’s is auctioning it via sealed bid next month in Hong Kong, and when the bidding ends on April 12, somebody (us!) will have possibly the coolest thing on Earth to park in their garage. Not the coolest car, or the coolest Ferrari—the coolest object ever made by human hands. We will brook no argument on this point.
Back in 2000—or, as we called it before that, “the year 2000″—Formula 1 cars didn’t have V-6s, or forced induction, or energy recovery systems. They were powered by 3.0-liter naturally aspirated 90-degree V-10s that made maybe 800 horsepower and revved beyond 17,000 rpm. Racing toward an upshift, such an engine made a sound like an alien power drill boring to the center of the earth. Downshifts sounded like the concussive atmospheric aftermath of a nearby lighting strike. You really wondered how it all held together, and often enough, it didn’t.
But this car did, plenty of times, after it got called in from the bench at the Brazilian Grand Prix, replacing the primary car that was damaged when Schumacher ran wide on a corner during qualifying. Yes, Chassis 198 was a backup. And one that went on to win that race, very likely inspiring Tom Brady to do the football version of that the very next year. But F1-2000 198 did it first.
Later in the season, Schumacher drove car 198 to pole position at the Spanish Grand Prix and again at Monaco. In a video from that Monaco qualifying, the tachometer overlay on the screen appears to occasionally show 18,000-rpm upshifts. Imagine: you could be doing that, in that very car on some track that you enjoy, if you outbid us! (Which is unlikely.)
That’s because this car has been restored and is part of Ferrari’s F1 Clienti program, wherein former race cars are brought to the track with full factory support. So you won’t be crawling under Chassis 198 and tightening bolts and whatnot, and not just because it’s far too low to the ground—no, you’ve got people for that! You should go get a massage or some driving tips from F1 drivers on site, two possibilities that…
Read More: Who Wants to Buy Michael Schumacher’s 2000 Monaco F1 Car? 2023-03-25 12:02:05