Michael Schumacher’s First Title-Winning Ferrari F1 Car Will Sell for Stupid Money
Chassis 198 played a crucial role in Schumacher winning the 2000 F1 driver’s title.
Michael Schumacher is unquestionably one of the finest drivers in the history of motorsport. If there were a Mount Rushmore of Formula 1 drivers, Schumacher's head would be immortalized in stone. So naturally, anything that was ever used or owned by Schumacher is worth big bucks. If a hotel room cleaner found a disposable toothpick in Schumacher's trash, they could sell it on eBay for enough to buy a house. Which is why his grand prix-winning Ferrari F1 car—chassis 198—is going to sell for absolutely stupid money.
Schumacher's Ferrari F1 car from the 2000 season is headed for an RM Sotheby's auction in Hong Kong on April, 3. He not only drove the chassis 198 Ferrari, he won the Brazilian grand prix with it. Chassis 198 was not his main car, it was a backup. During qualifying for the Brazilian grand prix, Schumacher damaged the undercarriage of his main car, which dropped him to third place on he grid. However, thanks to some engine troubles from Mika Häkkinen's McLaren, Schumacher took the win with his backup car, Chassis 198.
Chassis 198 would be called in for duty three more times during the 2000 season. In two such races—Catalunya and Monaco—Schumacher took pole position in qualifying and lead most of the actual race, only for engine and tire issues to keep him from winning. In its final race in Austria, Schumacher qualified in third but had to retire from the race, after another driver hit the Ferrari from behind. The crash didn't damage it too severely but it was enough to keep it from racing again.
After the Austrian grand prix, chassis 198 would never see a professional race again. However, Schumacher ended up winning the 2000 F1 driver's championship, his first for Ferrari, making 198's contributions to the season that much more important. Ferrari eventually rebuilt car 198 after the 2000 season and it was bought by Texas-based Ferrari collector Kevin Crowder in 2001. It was then bought again in 2016 by the current seller.
Making it even more valuable, car 198 was from one of the most beloved eras of F1—the V10 era. It had a 3.0-liter V10 with 805 horsepower at an eardrum-shattering 17,300 rpm. The V10 noise alone is what makes the V10 era so revered. So, like I said, stupid money.
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