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For sale: The Ferrari that gave Michael Schumacher sixth title

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RM Sotheby’s has a 2003 Ferrari F2003-GA for sale on November 9th. It’s the very car with which Michael Schumacher secured his sixth world title, making him the most successful F1 driver ever at the time.

This is going to cost. RM Sotheby’s expects chassis 229 to cost between 7.5 and 9.5 million Swiss francs, which is roughly the same in dollars and euros. But then again, this is a very rare piece of F1 history. Fully functioning on top of that, as demonstrated by Michael’s son Mick who pulled a couple of laps on Ferrari’s home circuit Fiorano.

Photo RM Sotheby’s

Better than Fangio

The F2003 comes straight from Ferrari’s wonder years in Formula 1, when the tandem Jean Todt, Ross Brawn, Rory Byrne and Michael Schumacher were simply unstoppable. On October 12th, it was this chassis 229 in which Michael Schumacher wrote history at the Japanese Grand Prix. The German took his sixth title, thereby surpassing Juan Manuel Fangio. It had been by Schumacher’s own account a messy race and he had to be content with just the single point from 8th place. But sometimes that is all it takes to claim the title.

Photo Ferrari

First race, first pole, first win

2003 was no walk-over for the Scuderia. Ferrari had started the year with an updated F2002, but failed to net a victory in any of the first four races. By the Spanish GP, Ferrari introduced the new car, the F2003-GA. GA referenced to the recently deceased ‘avvocato’ Gianni Agnelli. The F2003-GA had a longer wheelbase that allowed different aerodynamic solutions. Schumacher instantly qualified his car, this car, on pole in Spain. He would take the first of five victories with chassis 229 there. Podium finishes in Monaco and at the French Grand Prix followed as well.

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Photo Ferrari

Fierce battle

With stiff competition from the Williams-BMW squad and Fernando Alonso in the Renault and Kimi Raikkonen in the McLaren, the Scuderia saw its dominant position crumble. In the end, Raikkonen had a chance of winning the title. But with Schumacher’s loyal lieutenant Rubens Barichello taking victory in Japan, and with Raikkonen second, the title was Schumacher’s with just two points difference.

Photo Ferrari

Ready to go

Chassis 229 has always remained with Ferrari and the car has now been reconditioned by Corse Clienti, Ferrari’s client racing department. The V10 currently has just 139 miles on it. On November 9th, in Geneva, comes the chance to not just own a very significant Ferrari F1, but to enjoy revving that 3-litre V10 with 930 hp all the way up to 19,000 rpm. Here is more info.

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