ONE of the world’s most famous F1 racing cars, the one driven by the most successful man in the sport — Michael Schumacher — will have a new owner before year-end.
His 2001 F2001 F1 car sold for $10.7 million in 2017, so this one, the even more successful 2002 version, which took the German driver to the fifth of his seven championship titles, could command a dollar or three more.
The money raised will not all go to the current owner when auctioneers RM Sotheby’s put it on the block in Abu Dhabi in November. The bulk will go to a worthy cause: Michael Schumacher’s Keep Fighting Foundation.
In an ironic twist of fate, Schumacher, who competed in hundreds of motor races, suffered a traumatic brain injury — not on a racing circuit, but in a skiing accident.
That was on December 29, 2013.
He was put in a medically induced coma in Grenoble for six months before being moved for further rehabilitation to the University Hospital of Lausanne.
He has since been moved to the family home on the banks of Lake Geneva, in Switzerland, and little is known of his condition other than a statement from the family lawyer during court proceedings in Germany revealing the former Ferrari and Mercedes driver “cannot walk.”
It has been suggested his personal health care bills have exceeded $35 million, due to being looked after at home.
In 2002, he clinched the championship with six races to go, making it the quickest any driver has ever locked down the World Drivers Title.
At the same time, Ferrari also secured the Constructor’s Championship with the F2002.
For the rest of the season, this car was used as a test car, and Ferrari retired it after the season.
That season, he won three Grands Prix in the car and finished in first or second in every race.
Schumacher remains the world’s most successful F1 driver.
He amassed 91 F1 Grand Prix wins and seven championships during his active years.
Since then, the car has moved to numerous different private collections around the globe.
His wife, Corinna, provided a rare statement on his 50th birthday, on January 3 this year.
“You can be sure that he is in the very best of hands and that we are doing everything humanly possible to help him,” she said.
“Please understand if we are following Michael’s wishes and keeping such a sensitive subject as health, as it has always been, in privacy.
“At the same time we say thank you very much for your friendship and wish you a healthy and happy new year 2019.
“We are very happy to celebrate Michael’s 50th birthday together with you and thank you from the bottom of our hearts that we can do this together.
“Michael can be proud of what he has achieved, and so are we.”
The auction is on November 30, which should give serious bidders enough time to cash in their shares, gold coins, properties or what have you – or for less pecuniary-blessed folk, time to buy an extra Lotto jackpot ticket.