ZF: Formula 1 Clutch Mysteriously Shipped by Amazon Is ‘At Least 10 Years Old’

The diminutive component of a Formula 1 car’s transmission originates from a now-defunct F1 team, its manufacturer says.

byJerry Perez|
ZF: Formula 1 Clutch Mysteriously Shipped by Amazon Is ‘At Least 10 Years Old’

Clarifying details have poured in about a Formula 1 clutch that was recently shipped by Amazon to a BMW M3 owner. It turns out that the clutch in question is, in fact, a ZF clutch designed for a Formula 1 car, but the manufacturer says it has no idea how it made into the hands of its current owner.

A spokesperson from ZF confirmed to The Drive that the clutch was produced by the German parts manufacturer sometime in 2008. Although there's not an exact date of production on that specific part, it could actually be more than 10 years old. He also mentioned that this particular component could not be fitted to any other kind of vehicle application.

The Sharpie shows just how small the F1 clutch really is., M3 Forum

"That model clutch was manufactured by ZF for a Formula 1 team that's already ceased operations and is now defunct," ZF spokesman Gary Mason told The Drive. "The team ceased operations over a decade ago, so the clutch is at least 10 years old."

The BMW M3 owner who shared his initial reaction on M3Forum.net claims that he ordered the part through Amazon, and that's how he ended up with a very pricey and coveted piece of racing technology. As far as how Amazon got a hold of the piece, the parts manufacturer is just as confused as we are.

Several parts accompanying the clutch, including a carbon fiber case., M3 Forum

"ZF doesn't sell to consumers directly through Amazon, so the part wasn't shipped from us to Amazon or from us to the consumer," said Mason. "We can only speculate that when the F1 team auctioned-off its belongings, someone bought it and held on to it. As for how it got into the BMW owner's hands, we have no idea."

While these answers shed some light on this peculiar situation, it appears that the mystery of the F1-Amazon clutch is still alive.