The legacy of German icon still looms large over the whole sport

Michael Schumacher is still regarded as the greatest Formula One driver in history. The maestro holds a long list of records, including most championships won (7), most race wins (91), and most podium finishes (155). Now we can add “driver of the most expensive modern Formula One racing car ever sold at an auction” to that list. $7.5 million. That’s how much a Ferrari F2001, the same race car that Schumacher drove to romp his way to the 2001 World Championship, sold for that amount at the RM Sotheby’s auction in New York late last week. The legend of Schumi continues.

All the same, the Ferrari F2001 is arguably the most sought-after Formula One race car of this century. Not only did it help Schumacher win the 2001 driver’s title by a whopping 58 points (123 - 65) over runner-up David Coulthard, it also spearheaded the Prancing Horse’s dominance throughout the season, which saw the Italian team finish on the podium in all 17 races. The specific car that was up for auction contributed heavily to the team’s championship cause since it’s the same one that Schumacher drove at the Monaco and Hungary Grand Prix, winning both on his way to his fourth world championship. Given its provenance, it’s not surprising that the car sold for exactly $7,504,000, far exceeding the $5 million estimate the auction house placed on it. It also blew the existing record for most expensive modern F1 car to sell at an auction, displacing the $3.2 million Ferrari F2004 that RM Sotheby’s sold back in 2005. It’s hard to imagine another modern Formula One Car fetching that kind of price at an auction in the foreseeable future, at least unless either Lewis Hamilton or Sebastian Vettel start closing in on all of Schumacher’s records. For now, the Ferrari F2001 can lay claim to the title of most expensive modern Formula One car in history. 16 years after its dominant run in 2001, it’s still setting records like a boss.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Juan Manuel Fangio’s Mercedes still reigns as the most expensive F1 car ever sold at an auction

Michael Schumacher's Formula One Race Car Sells For $7.5 Million
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It beat its own estimate of $5 million and also destroyed the current record for a modern F1 car sold at an auction, more than doubling the $3.2 million that Schumi’s F2004 race car fetched 12 years ago

The $7.5 million fetched by Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari F2001 F1 race car is impressive. Not only did it beat its own estimate of $5 million, it also destroyed the current record for a modern F1 car sold at an auction, more than doubling the $3.2 million that Schumi’s F2004 race car fetched 12 years ago. But as impressive as it is, the winning bid is still miles away from the most expensive Formula One car to sell in this type of setting.

That record is still owned by the 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196, which sold for just under $30 million when it was auctioned by Bonhams back in 2013. Just like the F2001, the W196 was driven by another racing icon in five-time world champion Juan Manuel Fangio. For those who don’t know their Formula One history, Fangio held the record for most driver’s championships with five titles in the 1950’s, including a dominant four-year stretch from 1954 to 1957 that that saw him win four consecutive championships. Fangio’s record stood for 45 years until 2002 when - you guessed it - Michael Schumacher won his fifth of seven titles.

The German may have eclipsed some of the Argentinian’s many F1 records, but it’s safe to assume that the record for most expensive Formula One car ever sold at an auction will stay on Fangio’s side for some time. Last I checked, $7.5 million is only a quarter of the amount of $30 million, so unless another one of Schumacher’s race cars gets bid up to that stratosphere, this is one record that’s staying in the mantle of the legendary Argentinian racer.

Fangio's Mercedes Race Car Sells for $30 Million at Goodwood High Resolution Exterior
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Note: photo of the Mercedes-Benz W196.

References

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Source: Sky Sports

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