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Michael Schumacher’s undefeated 1998 F1 Ferrari to be sold at auction

The most successful Formula One Ferrari across all eras will go under the hammer next month as one of Michael Schumacher’s 1998 machines is offered to bidders in Monterey, USA.

The factory F300 up for grabs is chassis number 187, a car raced by the seven-time F1 champion four times in the ’98 campaign and won each one.

It is the only Ferrari Formula One chassis to run at least three races and achieve victory in every single race entered, making it the diamond of all competition machines from the iconic Italian marque.

Having been wonderfully preserved in its racing condition under the vendor’s ownership since being purchased from the Scuderia Ferrari team in 1999, experts believe it will sell for between $6million and $8million (£5million and £6.7million) when it goes to the block in August.

Ferrari's most successful F1 car of all time to be sold at auction: This is one of Michael Schumacher's 1998 machines. It was piloted by the seven-time champion four times that season - winning all four races

Ferrari’s most successful F1 car of all time to be sold at auction: This is one of Michael Schumacher’s 1998 machines. It was piloted by the seven-time champion four times that season – winning all four races

Despite being the most successful Ferrari F1 car of all time and driven by the most decorated of all pilots, Schumacher narrowly missed out on the Formula One crown in 1998, with McLaren-Mercedes driver Mika Hakkinen taking the title that year.

However, the flying Finn couldn’t get near his German rival in this particular car, which Schumacher raced to victory at the Canadian, French, British and Italian Grand Prix from 3 June to 13 September that season.

It is powered by a ferocious 3.0-litre V-10 engine producing 800 horsepower from one of the most potent eras in Formula One history.

The howling engine would rev to an ear-splitting 17,500rpm and provides a wailing soundtrack that epitomises this generation of motorsport.

Having moved to Ferrari in 1996 with two world titles under his belt with Benetton, many believe this is the engine that created the true foundation of the Scuderia’s incoming millennial domination of the Formula One world, with Schumacher taking four back-to-back titles from 2000 to 2004. 

The factory F300 up for grabs is chassis number 187, which is the most winningest Ferrari Formula One car of all time

The factory F300 up for grabs is chassis number 187, which is the most winningest Ferrari Formula One car of all time

Despite being the most successful Ferrari F1 car and driven by the most decorated of all pilots, Schumacher narrowly missed out on the Formula One crown in 1998, with Mika Hakkinen taking the title that year

Despite being the most successful Ferrari F1 car and driven by the most decorated of all pilots, Schumacher narrowly missed out on the Formula One crown in 1998, with Mika Hakkinen taking the title that year

Ferrari also came runner-up in the constructor's championship that year, finishing behind Hakkinen's McLaren-Mercedes team

Ferrari also came runner-up in the constructor’s championship that year, finishing behind Hakkinen’s McLaren-Mercedes team

The first of its four stunning victories came at Montreal, with the German setting the fastest lap and crossing the line 16 seconds clear of his rivals.

Schumacher and chassis 187 continued their successful relationship at the next two races, scoring victories at Magny-Cours and a rain-soaked Silverstone. 

With these three consecutive victories, Scuderia Ferrari vaulted back up in the standings and into serious contention against McLaren-Mercedes for both the drivers’ and constructors’ titles.

One of the four races Schumacher took victory at in chassis 187 was the rain-soaked British Grand Prix at Silverstone on 12 July 1998. He has qualified second for the race

One of the four races Schumacher took victory at in chassis 187 was the rain-soaked British Grand Prix at Silverstone on 12 July 1998. He has qualified second for the race

The car is powered by a ferocious 3.0-litre V-10 engine producing 800 horsepower from one of the most potent eras in Formula One history

The car is powered by a ferocious 3.0-litre V-10 engine producing 800 horsepower from one of the most potent eras in Formula One history

With an engine that revved to 17,500rpm, these twin exhaust outlets provided an ear-splitting noise. Such a wailing soundtrack epitomised this generation of motorsport

With an engine that revved to 17,500rpm, these twin exhaust outlets provided an ear-splitting noise. Such a wailing soundtrack epitomised this generation of motorsport

A few weeks after the trio of wins, Schumacher scored his 33rd career victory behind the wheel of chassis 187 when he crossed the finish line at Monza in front of the adoring Tifosi.

Schumacher ended the season as runner-up, finished 14 points behind Hakkinen. Ferrari also came second in the team standings behind McLaren-Mercedes, falling 23 points shy of its nearest rival. 

After the 1998 season, Scuderia Ferrari retained the car until September 1999, when it was then sold directly to the vendor – a private collector – in the same race-used condition in which it remains today. 

The first of its four stunning victories with Michael at the wheel came at Montreal, with the German setting the fastest lap and crossing the line 16 seconds clear of his rivals

The first of its four stunning victories with Michael at the wheel came at Montreal, with the German setting the fastest lap and crossing the line 16 seconds clear of his rivals

After the 1998 season, Scuderia Ferrari retained the car until September 1999, when it was then sold directly to the vendor - a private collector - in the same race-used condition in which it remains today

After the 1998 season, Scuderia Ferrari retained the car until September 1999, when it was then sold directly to the vendor – a private collector – in the same race-used condition in which it remains today

In their 23 years of ownership, chassis 187 has been remarkably preserved as it has never been restored or altered from its as-raced condition. 

It remained shielded from the public during this time and will be publicly offered for sale in Monterey for the first time in its history in what the auction house described as ‘an unrepeatable opportunity’. 

RM Sotheby’s, which will offer the car at its flagship event in Monterey, California, between 18 and 20 August, said: ‘Eminently rare and forever tied to one of racing’s all-time greatest legends, the extraordinary Michael Schumacher, 187 is without a doubt one of the most significant Ferrari F1 cars in existence, being the only undefeated chassis to run at least three races.’

Under the vendor's 23 years of ownership, chassis 187 has been remarkably preserved as it has never been restored or altered from its as-raced condition

Under the vendor’s 23 years of ownership, chassis 187 has been remarkably preserved as it has never been restored or altered from its as-raced condition

In fact, the car has not been made available to view to the public and is being seen for the first time as it is offered to the highest bidder in Monterey next month

In fact, the car has not been made available to view to the public and is being seen for the first time as it is offered to the highest bidder in Monterey next month

Jean Todt, Ferrari's Team Principal at the time and still a good friend of Schumacher since his life-changing injuries sustained in a skiing accident in 2013, said Michael 'loved his cars like they were his babies'

Jean Todt, Ferrari’s Team Principal at the time and still a good friend of Schumacher since his life-changing injuries sustained in a skiing accident in 2013, said Michael ‘loved his cars like they were his babies’

Speaking about the car in an interview with the auction house, Jean Todt, Scuderia Ferrari’s team principal from 1994 to 2007 and still a close friend of Schumacher since his life-changing injuries sustained in a skiing accident in 2013, said Formula One cars during the era were like art, and ‘Ferrari made the finest pieces’.

Commenting ahead of the F1 machine’s sale, he added: ‘Michael is the most fascinating and most successful driver of his period.

‘I am biased. We have been working together, we became friends and we still are very close to each other, so Michael is on top of my heart.

‘Michael loved his cars like they were his babies – they had a special meaning for him.’

RM Sotheby's describes the availability of Ferrari's most successful F1 car of all time as 'an unrepeatable opportunity'

RM Sotheby’s describes the availability of Ferrari’s most successful F1 car of all time as ‘an unrepeatable opportunity’

Having been wonderfully preserved since retiring from the track in 1998, experts believe chassis 187 will sell for between $6million and $8million (£5million and £6.7million) when it goes to the block in August

Having been wonderfully preserved since retiring from the track in 1998, experts believe chassis 187 will sell for between $6million and $8million (£5million and £6.7million) when it goes to the block in August

CARS & MOTORING: ON TEST

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