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F1 title-winning Schumacher Ferrari headed to auction

THE Ferrari that Michael Schumacher drove to his penultimate Formula 1 World Championship is set to go under the hammer this week.

Ferrari F2003-GA chassis 229 is the car that Schumacher drove through most of 2003, including the season-ending Japanese Grand Prix where he clinched his sixth title.

The car is being auctioned on November 9 by Sotheby’s in Geneva, Switzerland during the auction house’s Luxury Week.

Chassis 229 is one of six F2003-GA chassis that were built, the ‘GA’ suffix a nod to longtime Fiat president and chairman Gianni Agnelli who passed away in January of 2003.

Ferrari began the season with its proven, title-winning F2002 before debuting the F2003-GA at the fifth round in Spain.

Schumacher arrived in Barcelona fresh from a win in the San Marino GP but still playing catch-up in the points standings, a slow start to the season leaving him with 14 points adrift of early leader Kimi Raikkonen.

This car was Schumacher’s mount at Circuit de Catalunya, and he gave chassis 229 an ominous debut by claiming pole position and the race win.

He followed it with another sweep of pole and the race win at the Austrian GP, where he added the fastest lap and overcame a flash refuelling fire during a pit stop.

Third place in Monaco was followed by another win in Canada, then a fifth at the European GP at the Nurburgring and third at the French GP.

Chassis 229 sits in the Ferrari garage during the 2003 German Grand Prix. Pic: Supplied

Schumacher swapped to a newer F2003-GA chassis for the British, German and Hungarian GPs, but chassis 229 remained on hand at the latter two races as Ferrari’s spare car.

After three poor races that left Schumacher with a slender points lead over Juan Pablo Montoya and Raikkonen, he returned to chassis 229 for the final three races of the season.

Schumacher drove the car to victories at the Italian and United States GPs to give himself a nine-point margin over Raikkonen heading to the finale at Suzuka, where he turned in a self-confessed “messy” drive to eighth place – enough to secure the title by two points over his McLaren rival.

Along with moving Schumacher past Juan Manuel Fangio’s previous benchmark of five Drivers’ Championship titles, chassis 229 delivered the bulk of the points that contributed to Ferrari scoring its 13th Constructors’ Championship.

The car is offered in full track-ready condition following a full overhaul earlier this year by Ferrari at its Maranello headquarters, with chassis 229 now awarded Ferrari Classiche’s “Red Book” Certification.

Sotheby’s are estimating that the car could fetch between 7.5 to 9.5 million Swiss Francs (AU$11.71 to 14.83 million)

The build-up to the sale has also resulted in a second-generation Schumacher hopping behind the wheel of chassis 229, with Michael’s son Mick driving the car at Fiorano.

Watch the full video in the player below!

Click HERE for the full listing on Sothebys.com.

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