On Wednesday, the Ferrari in which Formula One superstar Michael Schumacher won the 2003 World Championship sold for about $15 million at auction in Geneva.
It is also one of only four Schumacher-era Ferrari Formula 1 vehicles to have five or more victories in a World Championship-winning season.
“This remarkable car has achieved a world record price for a modern-era Formula One,” the Sotheby’s auctioneer said after the F2003-GA, Chassis 229 car went under the hammer for 13 million Swiss francs ($13.2 million).
When additional taxes were included, the ultimate price was 14.6 million francs, according to the auction house.
The auction house in charge of the sale, Sotheby’s, had anticipated that it might bring up to $9.4 million (£8.3 million/€9.4 million).
Schumacher, who has not been seen in public since suffering significant injuries in a skiing accident in 2013, competed in the car nine times. He won five Grands Prix with it during the 2003 season and drove it to victory in Japan.
“It’s one of the Ferraris with the most victories in the constructor’s history, so it’s a very important car in the history of motor racing,” said Vincent Luzuy, from the Sotheby’s branch dealing with luxury car sales.
The F2003-GA, designed by Rory Byrne and Ross Brawn, had a longer wheelbase to improve aerodynamics, according to Mr Luzuy.
The model was introduced at the Spanish Grand Prix’s fifth event of the 2003 season. As a result, chassis 229 has been the most successful of the six F2003-GAs constructed.
Schumacher won the Spanish Grand Prix in it and the Austrian, Canadian, Italian, and US Grand Prix. In the vehicle, he also won pole positions in Spain, Austria, and Italy and the fastest laps in Austria, Italy, and the United States.
The car drove Schumacher to his sixth Formula One title, shattering Argentina’s Juan Manuel Fangio’s 1950s record of five. It also contributed to Ferrari’s 13th constructor’s championship, the Italian team’s fifth in a row.
Schumacher’s Ferrari was sold at Sotheby’s Luxury Week, which began last Friday and features flashing jewels, pricey watches, and designer handbags. However, a stunning blue diamond, expected to be the auction’s grand finale and estimated to bring up to 15 million Swiss francs, remained unsold later on Wednesday.
According to Sotheby’s, the gem was “an extraordinary stone in every sense” and “attracted significant interest” before the auction.
“While we didn’t get to see it sell in the room tonight, we are confident it will find a new home very soon,” the company said.