Michael Schumacher won the Australian Grand Prix in this Ferrari racer. Now it’s up for grabs

The F2001b will go up for auction during Sotheby’s Sealed’s Monterey Car Week from 16 to 19 August 2023

Formula 1-obsessed car collectors may want to warn their accountant before heading to this year’s Monterey Car Week. That’s because Sotheby’s Sealed will auction off the Ferrari F2001b race car Michael Schumacher drove at the start of the 2002 F1 season at the annual gathering this month. The legendary driver may have only piloted the vehicle a few times, but it helped put him on pace for a historic fifth driver’s championship.

This F2001b, chassis 215, is actually a holdover from the previous 2001 season. Scuderia Ferrari was late completing its 2002 race car, so Schumacher drove this vehicle in qualifying and on race day at the first two Grand Prix of the season, according to the auction house. The car’s career may have only lasted a few weeks, but it more than delivered during that time.

Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari F2001b Formula 1 Car. Photo by Sotheby’s Sealed

Schumacher drove the racer to victory during the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. Two weeks later at the Malaysian Grand Prix, he took the pole—Ferrari’s 150th of all time—and finished on the podium in third place despite slipping to 21st at one point during the race. The car would be replaced by the F2002 at the Brazilian Grand Prix, but not before helping Schumacher build a lead he’d hold onto for the rest of the season. That season’s championship was the German’s fifth, pulling him level at the time with Juan Manuel Fangio for the most all-time (Schumacher went on to win two more, a number that’s only been equalled by Lewis Hamilton).

The F2001b remains in fantastic shape more than 21 years after its racing days came to an end. The car wears its iconic Scuderia Ferrari F1 livery and rides on a set of Bridgestone racing tires. It’s powered by a naturally aspirated three-litre V-10 that pumps out a ferocious 825 hp, though it’s unlikely that the winning bidder will ever push the car to its full potential.

Photo by Sotheby’s Sealed

Interested in adding a genuine Schumacher F1 car to your personal paddock? The F2001b will go up for auction during Sotheby’s Sealed’s Monterey Car Week sales event, which extends from 16 to 19 August 2023. While no estimate has been provided by the auction house, you can expect the race car to command a hefty sum. Last year, the Schumacher-driven F2003 sold for US$14 million.

Sotheby’s Sealed

This article was first published on Robb Report USA