Schumacher’s Ferrari fetches record $15 million at auction


Schumacher raced the car nine times, won five Grands Prix in the 2003 season and drove it when it clinched the title in Japan – Copyright Russia Fisheries Agency North Caucasus Branch/AFP

The Ferrari in which Formula One legend Michael Schumacher won the 2003 World Championship title sold for nearly $15 million at auction in Geneva on Wednesday.

“This remarkable car has fetched a world record price for a modern-era Formula One car,” Sotheby’s auctioneer said after the F2003-GA, Chassis 229 car was auctioned off for 13 million Swiss francs ($13.2 million). Dollars).

When taxes and fees were added, the final price was 14.6 million francs ($14.9 million), the auction house said later.

The previous record was held by another Ferrari driven by Schumacher, an F2001 model sold by Sotheby’s in New York in 2017 for $7.5 million.

The final price, offered by an unnamed telephone bidder from Europe after a bidding war of more than 40 minutes, far exceeded expectations, with the auction house estimating before the sale that the car would fetch $9.5 million. of Swiss francs.

It is “one of the most important Formula One cars of all time,” the auctioneers said.

Schumacher, who has not been seen in public since he was seriously injured in a skiing accident in 2013, raced in the car nine times.

– ‘Very important car’ –

He won five Grands Prix with it in the 2003 season and drove it to the title in Japan.

“It is one of the Ferraris with the most victories in the history of the constructor, so it is a very important car in the history of motorsports,” Vincent Luzuy, of the Sotheby’s branch that deals with car sales, told AFP. deluxe.

Designed by Rory Byrne and Ross Brawn, the F2003-GA featured a longer wheelbase to improve aerodynamics, he explained.

The model was introduced at the Spanish Grand Prix, the fifth race of the 2003 season. Chassis 229 is by far the most successful of the six F2003-GAs that were built.

Schumacher drove it to victory in Spain and also won the Austrian, Canadian, Italian and United States Grands Prix in the car.

He also took pole position in Spain, Austria and Italy by car, and the fastest laps in Austria, Italy and the United States.

The car carried Schumacher to his sixth F1 title, a total that saw the German surpass the five won by Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio in the 1950s.

He also helped Ferrari win the 13th constructors’ championship, the Italian team’s fifth in a row.

– Luxury week –

Schumacher’s Ferrari was sold during Sotheby’s Luxury Week, which kicked off last Friday and sees a range of sparkling jewellery, expensive watches and designer bags under hammer.

Later on Wednesday, a spectacular blue diamond will cap off the jewelery sale and is estimated to reach 15 million Swiss francs.

That 5.53-carat cushion-shaped “luxury vivid blue” diamond is part of the De Beers Rare Blue Collection, a group of eight rare luxury blue diamonds with a total value of more than $70 million that are being sold in Geneva, New York and Hong Kong. .

Another piece that is expected to attract attention and attract offers is an emerald and diamond bracelet made in the 1850s, which once belonged to the French Empress Eugénie, wife of Emperor Napoleon III.

It has been estimated between 60,000 and 80,000 francs.

Sotheby’s is already on a roll, having sold the 11.15-carat Williamson Pink Star pink diamond in Hong Kong last Friday for HK$453.2 million ($57.7 million), setting a record for price per carat paid at auction for any diamond or gemstone. the house said.

Pink diamonds are only found in a few places and less than 10 percent weigh more than a fifth of a carat, and the large ones are some of the most in-demand on the world market.

Meanwhile, the 18.18-carat Fortune Pink, the largest pear-shaped “fancy hot pink” diamond ever to be auctioned, sold at a Christie’s auction in Geneva on Tuesday for $28.5 million.


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