Whether ex- racing driver Michael Schumacher is Formula 1’s GOAT (Greatest of All Time) is still hotly contested by F1 fans and pundits, but there’s no debating that a Ferrari F2001 that he drove to victory at the 2001 Monaco Grand Prix is the most expensive contemporary F1 car to ever sell at auction, according to Sotheby’s, reaching $7,504,000 after buyer’s commission.
Schumacher, the seven-time Formula 1 world champion who tragically lives in a vegetative state since a skiing accident in late 2013, used the very Ferrari F2001 sold by Sotheby’s Thursday evening to record his fourth Formula 1 World Championship in 2001.
Ferrari also won the constructor’s championship in the same year. The car itself (chassis number 211) hails from what many call the “V-10 era,” arguably a high water mark in Formula 1 history.
With a 900-hp V-10 engine that revs to 19,000 rpm, and approximately 1,300 pounds of car to haul around, it’s safe to say the new owner will find the car perfectly adequate as a track toy, should the car be used rather than displayed. The car eclipsed Sotheby’s estimate range of $4,000,000 to $5,500,000 as many expected it would.
The car was sold at a somewhat unconventional venue: an auction hosted by Sotheby’s art division at its Contemporary Art Evening Sale in New York. Preceding the Ferrari’s sale were dozens of pieces of multi-million-dollar art, including works by Jackson Pollack and Andy Warhol.
The most valuable item to sell was a 1966 three-panel oil painting by Francis Bacon entitled “Three Studies of Gerorge Dyer.” The piece sold for $38,614,000 after commission, in the middle of its $35,000,000 to $45,000,000 estimate. Lest you think car collecting is the most expensive hobby going, it’s worth noting that of the 74 lots sold, a total of nine pieces of art achieved a higher sales amount than the Ferrari.
Sotheby’s says that an unspecified portion of the car’s proceeds will be gifted to Michael Schumacher’s Keep Fighting Foundation, which uses its funds “to achieve cultural and social benefits” for the world. The foundation takes its name from the popular #keepfightingmichael hashtag that Schumacher’s friends, family and fans have used to encourage his rehabilitation.
Photos courtesy of Sotheby’s.