Schumacher’s championship-winning Ferrari F1-2000 is for sale | Top Gear
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Friday 2nd June

Schumacher’s championship-winning Ferrari F1-2000 is for sale

It dominated the season and carried one of F1’s best to the first of five driver's championships on the trot. Should go for a song, then

Published: 22 Mar 2023

We have a conundrum: it’s impossible to discuss this F1 car anywhere near as quickly or successfully as it drove. Just listing its accomplishments is going to take us the best part of 400 words, and that’s before we mention that you (or more likely, someone with oodles of money) is able to buy the thing. So strap in.

RM Sotheby’s will auction off this presumably near-priceless piece of racing history from April 3 to 12, noting that the fully restored F1 car is eligible for Ferrari’s Corse Clienti program – where Ferrari owners can take their prancing horse to some of the world’s best race tracks. Even among all those ‘XX’ Ferraris, we’d say you’d probably still come up trumps.

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If you’re wondering why this particular Ferrari F1 car is more important than your average bear, that’s because the F1-2000 delivered the first of a cavalcade of consecutive championship wins for Schumacher. And even cavalcade seems to undersell it – Schuey took the driver’s championship in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004. Before rule changes finally broke the Scuderia’s iron grip on the F1 throne, Schumacher had handed Ferrari six consecutive constructor’s championships from 1999 to 2004.

In 2000, Schumacher absolutely dominated the entire season, winning the driver’s championship by 19 points ahead of Mika Hakkinen. But even that 19-point gap between Schumacher and second-placed Hakkinen doesn’t tell the full story; a run of retirements for Schumacher throughout the middle of the season helped Mika close the gap from more than 40 points. Of the 13 races Schumacher finished, he was only off the podium once, claiming fifth place in Spain. And in nine of those races, he was on the highest step.

Overall, the F1-2000 won 10 of 17 races across the season, as well as netting 10 pole positions and five fastest laps across the year. Between them, Schumacher and Barrichello claimed an astonishing 21 podium finishes. Schumacher’s championship-winning season in 2000 marked the first time in 21 years that a Ferrari driver claimed the world driver’s title. The last was in 1979, when reformed barnstormer Jody Scheckter held off teammate Gilles Villeneuve to claim victory in the third-to-last race of the season.

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The F1-2000 sports a 90-degree, 3.0-litre V10 – the same basic layout and architecture as the 3.0-litre, 90-degree V10s that’d power Schumacher and Ferrari to another four championships on the trot. In the F1-2000, it revs beyond 17,000rpm and makes more than 800bhp – just the thing when it’s time to put down a flying lap in qualifying.

And this specific F1-2000 – chassis 198 – is the one Schumacher used to take pole position in both the Monaco and Spanish Grands Prix, as well as a win from the second row of the grid in the Brazilian GP. An errant BAR-Honda up the tailpipe put it out of contention at the Austrian GP; after effecting the minor repairs necessary, Ferrari brought it along as a backup car for the rest of the season... back when one could do such a thing.

Presumably, future generations will say things like, ‘back when you could just buy championship-winning F1 cars’, because this is the sort of thing you can’t imagine is going to be a simple or regular thing. As for the price? Well, RM Sotheby’s currently has it listed as ‘Estimate Available Upon Request’, which is the polite way to say ‘If you have to ask...’. What we can say is that this very car sold back in 2014 for $1.8 million in the US, and the classic car market has really only gone one way since then. In fact, Schuey’s championship-winning F1 car from 2003 just sold a few months back for 14.6 million Swiss francs, or about £12.85 million. Which rather explains why the someone who already owned this magnificent car was faced with something of a conundrum...

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