High bid of €800,000 at 2008 RM Auctions - Ferrari – Leggenda e Passione. (did not sell)Sold for $1,804,000 at 2014 RM Auctions at Monterey.
Hope springs eternal at the beginning of every Formula One season. Each and every year there are a handful of teams that expect success, and possibly even a championship. Heading into 2000, Scuderia Ferrari would feel they finally had the upper-hand. This perception would become reality.
From 1997 onwards Scuderia Ferrari had come close. They had managed to secure the Constructors' World Championship, but still, the Drivers' Championship continued to elude the famed stable. It had now been more than 20 years since Ferrari last had a World Champion driver of its own.
Rule changes heading into 1998 would encourage Rory Byrne to evolve Barnard's F310B design. Then, in 1999, Byrne and Brawn would work on an updated concept. Called the F399, the car would be very competitive over the course of the season earning six victories and a constructors' title for Ferrari. However, broken legs suffered by Schumacher in the British Grand Prix would force Ferrari to turn all of its efforts into supporting Eddie Irvine. It was halfway through the season and would prove a little too late to wrestle the drivers' title from Mika Hakkinen.
Such things as broken legs are always beyond the control of a team. However, it was possible to build the best car possible. This was something Ferrari would set about doing for Schumacher and newcomer Rubens Barrichello in 2000.
Utilizing the same gearbox as that used on its predecessors, the new F1-2000 would certainly have some direct connections with the past. However, there would be some important new elements that would make it its own car.
These new elements would begin with an engine with a wider V-angle. The Tipo 049 engine would be a 3.0-liter V10 producing close to 800hp. This was not necessarily anything new. However, the 90 degree angle of the 'V' shape would be. The wider angle enabled the weight of the engine to be lower to the ground helping with the stability of the car.
Another aspect of the F1-2000 that would help the speed and overall handling of the car would be its improved aerodynamics. The move to narrower chassis a couple of years prior meant designs needed to be tighter and cleaner. Wheelbases increased in order to conceal all of the necessary components, but also, to give designers the room needed to take advantage of the airflow as much as possible.
The long, high nose would remain, as would the airbox design. There would be some important changes made to the sidepods of the car however that would help with airflow around the sides of the car. More sculpted tops would enable better cooling while the inlets could be reduced in frontal area.
The new F1-2000 would be a winner straight-away. In the hands of their two drivers, Ferrari would earn a one-two finish in the Australian Grand Prix, the very first round of the season. This success would be followed by three more wins in the next five races and four in the next seven. After a pour middle part of the season, Michael Schumacher would come on strong winning the last four races of the season and giving Ferrari its first drivers' championship in 21 years.
Chassis 198 would be built in the early part of the season and would actually spend most of its time as the team's spare car. However, at the Brazilian Grand Prix the car would earn it place in the sun and a spot in Scuderia Ferrari history.
During practice, Michael Schumacher would run into trouble and would be forced to turn to 198 to keep his race hopes alive. Michael would find himself right at home within the cockpit qualifying 3rd for the race. As if starting 3rd wasn't good enough for a debut, chassis 198 would come through in a strong way during the race. Almost all of the top finishers would run into trouble during scrutineering. However, when it was all said and done, Schumacher and 198 would come away the declared winners of the Brazilian Grand Prix. Therefore, chassis 198 would serve its purposes in the best possible fashion.
The chassis would be used from time to time over the course of the season. At the Spanish Grand Prix, Schumacher would take 198 and would qualify on the pole. He would lead most of the race but would end up running into fuel problems in the end and would finish in 5th place.
Michael would be again at the wheel of 198 for the biggest race of the season, the Monaco Grand Prix. Unfortunately, it would not be a good weekend for either Schumacher or 198. A broken pushrod would bring the race to an early end and would be one of the final times in which the chassis would be used in a race over the course of the 2000 season.
Chassis 198 would remain at the Ferrari factory and would end up being rebuilt by those at the factory. The car would remain with the factory and would end up being made available as part of the F1 Clienti events held throughout the world.
A grand prix winner and an important part of Schumacher's and Ferrari's championship winning season, chassis 198 would be a car not to be missed when it became available as part of the 2014 RM Auction in Monterey. Owning such a piece of Ferrari Formula One history would bring some exciting bidding. When the gavel fell, chassis 198 would garner $1,804,000.By Jeremy McMullen
Sold for $1,041,793 (€806,400) at 2012 RM Auctions at Monaco.
If the Monaco Grand Prix is considered the jewel in Formula One's crown then the Ferrari F1-2000 would have to be one of the jewels in its series' most successful grand prix team. How fitting it truly is then to have the two come together for a very special moment.
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.Sources:
'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
Lost in the shadow of its record-breaking and record-setting successors would be the car that would bring Schumacher his third Formula One World Championship and Ferrari's first in twenty-one years. The car that would set the stage for the era of Ferrari would be the F1-2000.
While many would speculate at Michael Schumacher's decision to move to Ferrari when it was not considered with the same reverence and awe that the prancing horse had once evoked up and down the pitlane in Formula One, nobody denied his ability to pull a team together and help it become a contender. Nobody doubted that Schumacher had the drive and insatiable appetite needed to help bring Ferrari back from one of its darker periods. However, it was generally believed, given just how truly bad the team had been over the course of the previous few seasons, that it would take a few years before they would become contenders.
Then came Shumacher's first season with the team. He would go on to take a John Barnard designed 310 that certainly wouldn't win any contests for beauty and would earn three victories on the season. Though the team still was not on par with the dominant Williams-Renault, hardly anybody was expecting Schumacher to pull out a few victories.
Schumacher's ability to inspire and build a team around himself had been witnessed during his time with Benetton. And some of those same elements that led to the double World Championships would leave Benetton just to team up with Schumacher once again. One of those to defect to Ferrari from Benetton would be Ross Brawn. Brawn was well known for his abilities having been involved with the Jaguar Sports Car program back in the late '80s and early '90s and then with Benetton.
Another key defector from Benetton would come over to Ferrari a little later on in the 1996 season. The defector would be the designer Rory Byrne. Byrne would take over for Barnard and would immediately set to work designing a car capable of carrying a Ferrari driver to the World Drivers' Championship title.
Besides the many staff and mechanics, the other missing key to the equation would arrive at Ferrari about the same time as Michael, and that would be Jean Todt. Todt had successfully managed Peugeot's rally and sports car program. Brawn and Todt teaming up together at Ferrari was something interesting given the two men had been competitors in their sports car days.
The team had the driver; it had the staff. All that was needed was the car. Byrne would get to work right away designing a car that would be used in the upcoming 1997 championship season. Called the 310 'B'.
While one look at the car would make it clear that the car for the 1997 season was virtually all-new, it would be called the 310 'B' because of one simple thing. That one thing would be the fact the car would rest on the very same base as that of the 310. But that would be about the limit of the similarities between the 1996 and 1997 models.
Complete with a more powerful engine and much cleaner lines, Schumacher would challenge for the World Championship in just his second year of being with Ferrari. And although Jacques Villeneuve would go on to win the championship for Williams-Renault, for better or worse, Michael would not go down without putting up a fight. Of course, it would be for his driving into the side of Villeneuve at Jerez that Michael would be disqualified from the championship altogether. But for a person unhappy with 2nd place, losing out on the runner-up position in the championship would not be an entirely unhappy affair for the German.
After the 310B came the F300. Similar to the 310B in design, the 300 was still an all-new car given the new technical regulations for the 1998 season. Byrne's design would feature some aerodynamic approaches that would come to influence designs for years to come and would make Ferrari routinely superior to its rivals.
However, in 1998, Ferrari would find itself in a battle again, but with a new adversary. Instead of Williams-Renault, the chief competitor the team had to face throughout the season would be McLaren-Mercedes.
Schumacher would again be close to another World Championship but would lose out in the last race of the season when he made a mistake early on and then suffered a puncture about halfway through the race. This would hand the title over to Mike Hakkinen, his first World Championship.
By the time of the 1999 season those that had initially believed it would take a number of years before Ferrari would become contenders for the World Championship had become believers. The only question that really remained on their lips was, 'When?'
Byrne would try and answer that question in the last season before the new millennium. He had worked to design the F399. Well and truly an evolution of the F300, the 399 would feature a number of little innovations that were meant to carry the team to its first World Drivers' Championship in twenty years.
The season had started out rather well for Michael as he would take victories in the San Marino and Monaco Grand Prix, which were the 3rd and 4th rounds of the season. But then, over the course of the next three races, neither Michael nor Eddie Irvine would earn a victory. The legs to Michael's hopes for another World Championship would be literally taken out from under him at the next round of the season the British Grand Prix.
In that race, Schumacher would have a rear brake failure at Stowe would see him careening across the track at nearly 200 mph and slamming hard into a tire barrier breaking his leg. While the championship would be lost for Schumacher, Eddie Irvine was still very much in the mix. The battle for the championship would go down to the final race of the season, but it would be the cool, calm and collected Mika Hakkinen that would withstand the pressure from Schumacher and Irvine to score his second World Championship.
While it was obvious Ferrari had improved and were no longer something of a running joke up and down the pitlane, the team still had failed to reach its goal of a World Drivers' Championship despite the fact it had earned the Constructors Championship in '99. It appeared that McLaren-Mercedes has just enough to steal the coveted championship away just when it was within the team's reach. Therefore, Byrne, and the rest of the design staff, would set to work building a car that would put the championship out of reach for everyone except for themselves. The answer would be found with the creation of the F1-2000.
Heading into a new millennium, the car that was to be would receive a four digit identifier translating to the year in which it would race. And when it was unveiled before the start of the season there was very much that was similar to the car from the F399, but there would also be so many differences.
Center of gravity would be a major focus of Byrne's with the new car. There would be areas of the car specifically designed and arranged to lower the car's center toward the ground in an effort to increase handling and stability. Nothing would be left untouched. The calipers for the massive carbon-carbon composite disc brakes would be mounted on the bottom of the disc instead of along the side. And of course, a major component that was evolved to help with center of gravity was the engine.
The F399 had used the 048, 3-liter, V10 engine that produced around 790 hp. It was a good engine, but at only 80 degrees between the banks of the cylinders it was still a little too tall, and therefore, had a taller center of gravity that hindered the handling of the car every so slightly. But 'slightly' in Formula One can mean the difference between a championship and non at all. T
The new Tipo 049 would be redesigned to meet the needs of the team. The team would keep the V10 arrangement as it proved to have great power but was much less thirsty than a 12-cylinder engine. The designers would then take the V10 and lower it by making the angle between the banks of cylinders now 90 degrees. By having more of its mass lower to the ground, handling and stability in the car would be increased. Something else that would be increased would be the power. The horsepower in the 049 would be increased to 805 hp and could turn at over 17,000 rpm.
Besides power, handling would one of the most important aspects of any car challenging for the World Championship. And a big part of what makes up a grand prix car's handling is its suspension. In the case of the F1-2000, the team would utilize an independent front suspension with twin wishbones and a push-rod. Torsion bar springs and telescopic shock absorbers would be used, along with an anti-roll bar, to help increase stability and reduce rolling. The rear suspension would be a virtual copy of the front suspension.
Another important, and final, component that had been redesigned for the F1-2000 would be the transmission. In an effort to reduce any mass from acting like an arm and upsetting the balance and handling of the car, all major, heavy components, would be kept within the length of the wheelbase. This necessitated the designers coming up with a 7-speed electro-hydraulic that could be transverse mounted to the engine. As with all cars of the day, the 7-speed + reverse gearbox would be operated by paddles mounted to the backside of the steering wheel.
The driver would be busy in the cockpit doing more than just steering and operating the semi-automatic gearbox. The 1997 F310B would have a steering wheel arrayed with switches, dials and buttons that could control seemingly everything on the car. However, there would still be a small number of functions that would have buttons or switches mounted to the dash behind the steering wheel. This would change with the F1-2000. Everything from the pitlane limiter, radio, neutral, brake bias, mixture and other functions of the car could be achieved right from the steering wheel of the car.
Much work would go into components that were necessary to the success of the car. But the aerodynamics of the car's bodywork certainly could not be overlooked either. And this would be perhaps where most of the obvious changes from its predecessors would be most readily noticed.
Byrne would go to great lengths to design a car with improved lines that would make it even more aerodynamically efficient. Made of carbon-fiber and composite honeycomb, the monocoque body design would feature a number of beautiful contours and blended shapes that made for a certainly aesthetically pleasing design.
The nose of the F1-2000 would bear some similarities with its predecessors but there would be some obvious changes. For one thing, the nose would arc rather high in the air around the front wheels and then would sweep downward out toward the tip of the nose. This enabled larger amounts of airflow underneath the nose of the car, but the drooping of the nose toward the very tip enabled the mounting of the low front wing.
Because of the tall front nose and mounting planes for the wings, the single-keel underneath the nose around where the driver's feet would be was much more noticeable. The keel design would have to be quite large because of the arching nose and the overriding desire to keep the car's center of gravity as low as possible.
The large volume of air that passes underneath the nose of the car and underneath the front wing then comes to meet the tray and the splitter located underneath the driver's legs. This splitter deflects the air to either side of the car. Of course, the undertray of the car would help squeeze the air flowing underneath the car itself to help generate downforce via the low pressure caused by the speeding up of the air being squeezed passing under the car.
The high-arching nose helps the driver to sit well down in the cockpit between the two radiator sidepods in either side. The air is either deflected out and around the sidepods to meet the oncoming air passing along the side of the car, or, it would be directed in toward the radiator inlets. Controlling this airflow are two rather large bargeboards.
The bargeboards would further come into play as the excess air tried to spill its way out the side of the car. The shape of the bargeboard would ensure that the large volume of air passing through the narrow gap would head to the radiators, but it then would help to bend and blend the air around the side of the car. While some of the airflow would spill out to the sides of the car, boundary layer adhesion would cause a large amount to flow around the outside of the car and through the 'coke bottle' design leading toward the rear of the car.
The coke-bottle design, and the large tray filling the gap between the sidepods and the rear wheel would help maintain separation of airflow between the air passing around the side of the car and that which was passing underneath it. This would keep the airflow smooth, which would be important as it would affect stability at the rear of the car. It would also come to affect the flow of the air into the brake cooling ducts positioned to the inside of the wheel just like the front wheels.
Sitting high atop the car would be the engine's airbox, which would also act as a roll-over hoop in case the car's wheels left the ground. Small vane-like devices would be attached around the area to help smooth the greatly disturbed airflow around the area of the cockpit. Exiting out of the top of the car's sidepods would be the V10's exhaust. Right beside the exhaust openings would be small flip-ups that would help lift the airflow over the rear wheels, and thereby, help reduce the great buffeting the large spinning wheels routinely caused.
The rear wing on the F1-2000 would be rather conventional in that it had a straight main-plane and two adjustable secondary planes. The main plane would also have another secondary plane that would be positioned ahead of the more normal two secondary planes and would provide the driver, and the team, with more options for downforce levels at each and every circuit. The wing itself would attach via a lower wing plane to the gearbox. This lower plane would connect the two endplates providing stiffness and strength under the incredible loads generated by the wing. And of course, exiting out of the back of the car, would be the all-important diffuser. With a shroud around the gearbox, and diffusers between the wheels and the gearbox, large volumes of air could be sucked out from underneath the car generating a lot of downforce.
Schumacher would use the downforce, the increased power and the lower center of gravity to take the fight to McLaren-Mercedes. On much more equal footing when it came to handling; the favor seemed to tip in favor of Ferrari. However, Schumacher would not walk away with the title. And by the late-middle part of the season, things were looking rather bleak for the team. But then they came home to Monza and the Italian Grand Prix. After dominating the whole of the race, Schumacher would cruise to victory in front of the enthusiastic Tifosi and would be absolutely formidable throughout the rest of the season. Still with one race left, the F1-2000 would help Schumacher clinch his third World Drivers' Championship and the first for Ferrari in twenty-one years.
And with that, the F1-2000 would usher in the era of Ferrari dominance unlike ever witnessed before.Sources:
'History: Singleseaters: F1-2000', (http://www.ferrari.com/English/Formula1/History/Singleseaters/Pages/F1-2000.aspx?decade=2000). Scuderia Ferrari. http://www.ferrari.com/English/Formula1/History/Singleseaters/Pages/F1-2000.aspx?decade=2000. Retrieved 29 December 2011.
'History: Singleseaters: F399', (http://www.ferrari.com/English/Formula1/History/Singleseaters/Pages/F399.aspx?decade=1990). Scuderia Ferrari. http://www.ferrari.com/English/Formula1/History/Singleseaters/Pages/F399.aspx?decade=1990. Retrieved 29 December 2011.
'History: Singleseaters: F300', (http://www.ferrari.com/English/Formula1/History/Singleseaters/Pages/F300.aspx?decade=1990). Scuderia Ferrari. http://www.ferrari.com/English/Formula1/History/Singleseaters/Pages/F300.aspx?decade=1990. Retrieved 29 December 2011.By Jeremy McMullen