Consider the case of the Teumessian Fox. This mammal from Greek mythology could never be caught, so was hunted down by a magical dog called Laelaps that could catch anything. A paradox arises, as you can see: irresistible-force-meets-immovable-object kind of thing.
Well, meet Ferrari’s very own Teumessian Fox. It is the company’s Formula One competitor for 2000, and is less a piece of engineering, more a symbol of the team’s modern domination of the sport.
Sure, the season before saw Ferrari’s first constructor’s title win since 1983, but this didn’t please the Scuderia. They wanted more. They wanted to win the driver’s championship. So they designed an entirely new car – from scratch – that could paste the McLarens of the era and give recent signing Michael Schumacher a chance to dance on the podium once more, this time in Rosso Corsa colours.
It is the first Ferrari model to be conceived entirely in the wind tunnel, and chief designer Rory Byrne went to work on improving aero around the car, lowering the centre of gravity and modifying the suspension using carbon composites. Screaming under the Ferrari’s new carbon-fibre and Kevlar-reinforced curves would be a new 3.0-litre V10 producing just over 800bhp.
Turns out, it was pretty handy. That season, the F1-2000 scored 10 victories – nine for Schuey and one for team-mate Rubens Barrichello – giving Ferrari the constructor’s title and Mr Schumacher his third driver’s crown – his first with Ferrari.
This particular car, chassis 204, is one of eight cars and has been driven by both Schuey and test driver Luca Badoer. It helped Michael win the Hungarian GP of 2000, but an accident in testing saw it decommissioned, retained by the then team-manager and current FIA president Jean Todt.
Fully restored – including a new engine – it has since been driven 400km, and is going up for auction at RM’s annual Monaco sale, starting this Friday. The price? Around £700,000 (RM3.5 million approx), possibly more if people get excited and literally start throwing money.
As for the Tuemessian Fox? Well, Ferrari won five driver’s championships in a row from 2000-2004, and one more with Kimi in 2007, and it all began with the car that nobody could catch (until Alonso’s Renault ‘Laelaps‘ came along and erm, caught it, that is).
Also up for grabs in Monaco is the 1978 475bhp Williams FW06 F1 car that laid the groundwork for the team’s 1980 driver’s title with Aussie Alan Jones.