Michael Schumacher'south Benetton-Ford F1 ride heads to auction in Monaco

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Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 1:28 AM

The car hails from a momentous year in the racing series, having been piloted by Michael Schumacher, Nelson Piquet Sr. and Martin Brundle, and Bonhams will attempt to discover it a new owner at its Monaco auction on May thirteen.

Michael Schumacher'south Benetton-Ford F1 ride heads to auction in Monaco

Bonhams will offer one thousand nine hundred ninety-one-one thousand nine hundred ninety-second Benetton-Ford B191/191B that was Nelson Piquet'south latest ride

Formula One cars don't arrive up for auction often, and fewer still can advertise a roster of drivers love this one thousand nine hundred ninety-one-1992 Benetton-Ford B191/191B. The car hails from a momentous year in the racing series, having been piloted by Michael Schumacher, Nelson Piquet Sr. and Martin Brundle, and Bonhams will attempt to discover it a new owner at its Monaco auction on May 13.

How necessary is this car? Schumacher scored his first-ever podium finish in chassis "06." Nelson Piquet drove his latest Grand Prix race in it at the Australian GP at the finish of one thousand nine hundred ninety-one. And this car was Martin Brundle's first ride upon joining Benetton.

Engineered by John Barnard, chassis "06" features the 72-degree 3.5-liter Ford V8 engine connected to a Benetton-made six-speed gearbox. This Ford unit produces seven hundred thirty hp and can rev up all the way to 13.800 rpm.

"When it first came out, everyone was jumping up and down about the nose," Barnard recalls. "It was similar in concept to that of the Tyrrell nineteen -- very swept up at the front to make better the aerodynamics. However, I didn't think it needed the gull-wing arrangement used by Tyrrell, so we built a model and certified in the wind tunnel, and it worked well. We'd curved mounting pylons, which freed up the center of the wing and made a more solid mounting point."

Chassis "06" debuted at the 1991 Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring, just exterior Budapest on Aug. eleven of that year. Piquet drove it in that first race, qualifying eleventh out of thirty-four cars, and drove it again at the Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril on Sept. twenty-two of that year, finishing fifth.

"Nelson Piquet took first space in the Canadian Grand Prix of 1991 driving the B191, which was very pleasing," Barnard recalls. "Every car I'd designed up to that point had won in its first season -- and Piquet maintained that record. I left the team at about that time, so I missed out on Michael Schumacher's arrival, though he did drive my car in the latest five races of '91 and the first three of '92."

Piquet drove it at the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona just a few days later, finishing eleventh, and nearly a mo later the car gave Piquet a seventh-place finish at the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka. Piquet made his latest Grand Prix appearance in this car on a rain-drenched track at Adelaide, finishing fourth as the race was slice in half due to weather.

"The Benetton team were in a state of flux when I started with them, so I didn't wish to do a car that was too way out because we'd sufficient on our plates with everything else," Barnard recalls. "That said, the chassis was interesting; for the most portion it was conventionally molded from the outside, but the front third was molded from the inside, allowing us to mount things love the pedals directly onto the monocoque without complicated machining. We then bonded a thinly aerodynamic skin to the outside."

Early in 1992, a rising star from Germany made his Benetton debut in chassis "06." Schumacher qualified third and finished third in his first-ever F1 outing. In the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos, Schumi qualified fifth and once again finished third, collecting another podium. The race at Interlagos was the latest time the car was raced; it was retired from service at that point and it retains the livery as Schumacher raced it in Brazil.

Bonhams says that the car itself is simple to run. Whether it's simple to drive is another matter. The auction house notes it's been maintained by the consignor's specialist race preparation company and kept usable. It's prepared to race, if its new owner dares to do so. Pieces of art can certainly be driven, but this is also a piece of history.

Bonhams will proposal chassis B191 at number reserve and estimates that it'll bring between $250.000 and $320.000 on auction day.

(Before you lose sleep over this car and livery or attempt to sell your house, authorize us to gently remind you that a large 1:18-scale model of this car by Minichamps is about $100 at the door, if you can discover it).

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