Buy Michael Schumacher’s First Podium Finish F1 Car
In 1992, a young Michael Schumacher got behind the wheel of a Benetton-Ford B191 Formula 1 car at the Mexican Grand Prix. By race end, for the first time in his long and storied career, he would have a podium finish. While that alone is enough to give any Formula 1 car a significant provenance and racing pedigree, Benetton chassis B191-06 played a significant role in the racing careers of two other big name F1 drivers: triple world champion Nelson Piquet and current F1 commentator Martin Brundle. And amazingly, now you can buy it. RELATED: Check out more photos of the iconic Schumacher Benetton B191
This remarkable Benetton-Ford F1 car will cross the auction block at Bonhams’ Bond Street Sale on Nov. 30, and with it go three amazing Formula 1 narratives. Crafted for the 1991 F1 season by renowned designer John Barnard, chassis B191-06 made its racing debut in the hands of Nelson Piquet at the 1991 Hungarian Grand Prix. His race ended in gearbox failure, though Piquet subsequently drove the car again at that year’s Portuguese, Spanish, and Japanese Grand Prix.
But his pivotal drive in the B191 Benetton came at the Australian Grand Prix. That's where Piquet cruised through a torrential downpour to finish fourth in the red-flagged and season-ending event, at which point he ended his F1 career.
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In 1992 Martin Brundle raced the B191-06 during his debut for Benetton at the South African Grand Prix. His race ended due to clutch failure. Later that month the chassis found a new star – Michael Schumacher.
In his second race of the year and first in chassis B191-06, Schumacher drove the car to finish third, behind Nigel Mansell and Riccardo Patrese in the legendary ’92 Williams-Renault. At the next race he did it again, finishing third behind the Williams pair in Brazil at Interlagos.
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Chassis B191-06 comes fitted with its Ford Series V HB 3.5-liter V8 engine, which sported 12.0:1 compression and spat out 730 horsepower at 13,800 rpm. Benetton sorted a carbon-composite monocoque chassis along with pushrod independent suspension, and fed that tremendous power to the ground through a Benetton-built six-speed gearbox.
Whether you’re looking to nab a coveted piece of Formula 1 history, or just happen to be a big fan of United Colors of Benetton clothes, this cherished Benetton-Ford F1 car is a standout amongst privately owned ex-racers. Bonhams expects the gavel to drop between $380,000 and $480,000.
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