The F2001b was an updated version of the F2001 (hence “b”), which was originally designed to contest the 2001 F1 championship. However, its planned successor, the F2002, wasn’t ready for the start of the 2002 season due to gearbox reliability. The F2001 had been successful—Schumacher won nine out of 17 races in 2001—so Ferrari developed the “b” version as a placeholder until the F2002 was ready.
The resulting car kept the proven 7-speed sequential gearbox from the standard F2001, but added aerodynamic elements based on planned upgrades for the F2002. The V-10 engine was mostly the same as well, but it incorporated some upgrades from the F2002’s engine.
Schumacher drove the car up for auction—chassis 215—in the first two races of the 2002 F1 season. He won the season opening Australian Grand Prix and advanced from 21st to 3rd in the Malaysian Grand Prix. In that race, he started in the pole position, but got pushed to the back after a first-lap crash.
Chassis 215 was also shipped to the Brazilian Grand Prix, but Schumacher ended up driving one of the new F2002 chasses. Ferrari then used chassis 215 for tire testing before selling it off to private owners. While its competition career was short, chassis 215 had two podium finishes in two races and a pole position. Schumacher and Ferrari, meanwhile, went on to win the both 2001 drivers’ and constructors’ championships.
The listing doesn’t include a pre-auction estimate, but any F1 car with a connection to Schumacher is a prized item. One of the earlier F2001 chassis sold for $14.8 million at auction in 2022. That car had a longer career that included five wins, but chassis 215 should still bring big money at auction.
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