If you’ve got the cash, you can own a piece of Formula One history on Dec. 1, when the car that took Michael Schumacher to his first of seven World Driving Championships goes up for auction.
British auction house Bonhams is set to sell the 1994 Cosworth/Ford-powered Benetton B194, and it is expected that the car will fetch a price upwards of 600,000 GBP – or almost $1 million USD.
This won’t be the first valuable F1 machine that Bonhams has sold this year. Back in July, Juan Manuel Fangio’s 1954 Mercedes W196 was sold for 19.6 million GBP, which made it the most valuable motor vehicle ever sold at auction.
The B194-05 chassis that will be auctioned off Dec. 1 was used in the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix – known infamously as the race in which Formula One great Ayrton Senna lost his life. Schumacher won that race and went on to more wins in Monaco, Canada and France that year in the B194-05.
According to Bonhams, extensive recent engineering work on the car includes a restoration of its Cosworth/Ford Zetec engine, a new gearbox, and a paddle-shifting gear change system. Additionally, the lucky buyer will also receive a test drive of the B194 at its current base in Spain.
“Unlike so many other modern era Formula 1 cars, this one is complete, fully operational and effectively in race-ready condition,” said Bonhams Group motoring director James Knight in a release.
Carlos Sainz Jr.
Teams: Scuderia Toro Rosso (1-16), Renault (17-20)
Car No.: 33
Best Finish: P4 (Singapore)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Championship Position: 9th
Carlos Sainz Jr. has always been compared to Max Verstappen given their relative rise and stint together at Toro Rosso, but the Spaniard began to forge his own impressive path through 2017, securing himself a works drive with Renault in the process.
Alongside the struggling Daniil Kvyat for much of the season, Sainz led Toro Rosso’s charge, scoring 48 of its 53 points with a string of impressive drives. His headline moment came in Singapore when he matched Verstappen’s best result in Toro Rosso colors by finishing fourth, capitalizing on the start-line crash and the wet weather with a strong display.
Sainz’s displays led to a call from Renault, who announced just two days before his star display in Singapore he would be joining up for 2018 on loan from Red Bull. However, the deal was accelerated after a deal was brokered to secure Jolyon Palmer’s departure, allowing Sainz to join up from the United States GP onwards.
Sainz made an immediate impression, completing a perfect race en route to seventh on debut for Renault to secure six points that would prove crucial in the final constructors’ championship standings as the French team beat Toro Rosso to P6 in the standings at the last race of the year.
Red Bull retains an option on Sainz’s future beyond 2018, making him a candidate for a seat with its senior team should Daniel Ricciardo opt to leave. Failing that, Renault could offer Sainz the platform he needs to continue his rapid rise in F1 and establish himself at the front of the pack for many years to come.
Season High: Finishing fourth in Singapore after dodging the start-line drama.
Season Low: Crashing out in his final Toro Rosso appearance on the first lap at Suzuka.