2000 Ferrari F1-2000
|Model History||Auction sales research||Specifications||Body styles and Chassis Data|
On the 12th of May, at the 2012 RM Auctions at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco the famed principality and one of the chassis that began the run of incredible dominance for Ferrari during the first years of the new millennium would come together once again. Chassis number 204 would be offered for sale and would provide a rare opportunity for someone to own a grand prix car driven by Formula One's ultimate champion.
One of just eight examples to be built, #204 would be birthed from a clean sheet of paper and extensive wind tunnel testing in Ferrari's new facilities in Maranello. The watchwords were 'improved aerodynamics' and chief designer Rory Byrne would conceive the new design entirely from wind tunnel testing, a true milestone in race car development. Constantly working and tweaking the design, Byrne would eventually end up with a car that had much improved lower center of gravity from its predecessor. The overall weight distribution within what would become known as the F1-2000 would also be much better than previous models.
The F1-2000 would be immediately successful earning a one-two finish in the first race of the season in Australia and would carry Michael Schumacher to three-straight victories in the first three races of the 2000 season. By that point in time, Schumacher was well on his way toward earning the first World Drivers Championship for Ferrari in more than twenty years. It would also set the stage for a period of Ferrari dominance that will likely be unrivaled ever again.
Chassis 204, the very one being offered at auction, would come online toward the middle of summer in 2000. Like any rookie in any sport, 204 would have to do some time on the test track in order to earn its right to take up the championship fight for one of the most storied and famous stables in all of motor racing.
Luca Badoer would actually be the first to drive the car around the Fiorano track. This testing effort would take place very early on in July and would end up being the final checkout really before it would head off with the main team for its first grand prix.
Chassis 204's first Formula One World Championship race would take place on the 16th of July. The race was the Austrian Grand Prix and the car would have the pleasure of being in the hands of one of the greatest Formula One drivers in history, that being Michael Schumacher. However, Ferrari would find itself locked in yet another battle with the pairing of Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard from McLaren-Mercedes.
Hakkinen would take his McLaren and would end up going fastest in qualifying thereby taking the pole for the 71 lap race. Coulthard would make it an all McLaren front row. Schumacher just could not get 204 up to speed and would end up starting in 4th position beside his teammate Rubens Barrichello in the second row. This starting position would end up being a major factor in the upcoming race for Schumacher and 204.
As the field roared away at the start of the race, fellow drivers Jarno Trulli and Ricardo Zonta would come together and would end up running into both of the Ferraris just ahead of them. Barrichello would be pushed off track but would be able to continue. Schumacher, however, would not be able to continue on and would be out. Therefore, chassis 204's first Formula One race would last only about one mile.
Damaged by the contact, 204 would be taken back to Maranello to be repaired and returned to service. The car would return to being used on the test track at Fiorano in the hands of Luca Badoer. Even Michael Schumacher would turn some testing laps in the car at the circuit. Schumacher would spend time in the car in preparation for the Hungarian Grand Prix that would come up in a few days. Michael would win that race but in chassis 203.
204 would remain at the Fiorano circuit and would continue to turn out the laps in testing. Month after month the car would be seen navigating the test track. Unfortunately, the car would suffer one final mechanical failure that would lead to an accident with Badoer at the wheel. As a result, 204 would see its last laps as part of the active grand prix team. Instead, the car would be retired and would remain in the possession of Jean Todt, the then General Manager of Scuderia Ferrari.
Chassis 204 would remain with Todt until 2006 when it would be purchased by its current owner. However, before being purchased the chassis would receive its full Ferrari Classiche paperwork in March of 2004.
When purchased in 2006, the car would find that it would not go very far as it would return to the Ferrari factory in 2008 to be restored to peak condition. Part of that restoration work would include a proper Tipo 049 engine and numerous other details that would eventually add up to almost 150,000 EUR. When finished, 204 would come brandishing its new 808 bhp 3.0-liter V10 engine and would feature a seven-speed sequential paddle-shift actuated gearbox and the usual incredible stopping power of a Formula One car.
In spite of its extensive use as a test car, chassis 204 remains one of the chassis with the fewest miles on it. In fact, after receiving its new Tipo engine in 2008, only about 400 kilometers have been put on the engine since. Therefore, 204 remains one of the freshest examples of the chassis that brought the World Drivers Championship back to Ferrari and added one more to Michael Schumacher's incredible litany of records.
In spite of seeing very few racing miles and many on the test track, the fact that it was under the control of one of the greatest Formula One drivers in history would certainly add to the value of its already pricey aerodynamic lines. Still, for an estimated 680,000-850,000 EUR its buyer would be treated to such a harmonious symphony of sound from its V10 that is now extinct and more than worth the price. More than anything, this brawny performer serves as an important first act in the incredible epic saga of Scuderia Ferrari and Michael Schumacher.
'Lot No. 346: 2000 Ferrari F1-2000', (http://www.rmauctions.com/FeatureCars.cfm?SaleCode=MC12&CarID=r366). RM Auctions. http://www.rmauctions.com/FeatureCars.cfm?SaleCode=MC12&CarID=r366. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
'2000 Ferrari F1-2000 news, pictures, and information', (http://www.conceptcarz.com/z4667/Ferrari-F1-2000.aspx). RM Auctions. http://www.conceptcarz.com/z4667/Ferrari-F1-2000.aspx. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
'Grands Prix: 2000: Austria', (http://www.manipef1.com/grandprix/2000/austria/). ManipeF1. http://www.manipef1.com/grandprix/2000/austria/ . Retrieved 8 May 2012 By Jeremy McMullen
|Auction Sales Information|
|Auction||RM Auctions at Monaco|
|Sale Price||$1,041,793 (€806,400.00)|
|RM Auctions at Monaco||1975-2007|