One of the most successful undefeated Formula One cars across all eras – the 1998 Ferrari F300 – is coming up for auction soon. This iconic F1 car is chassis number 187, and was driven to four victories by none other than the legendary Michael Schumacher.
Chassis 187 is the seventh out of nine versions of the F300 and is particularly special because it’s the only one to have run at least three Grand Prix races and win every one it competed in – with four consecutive wins, it’s the most successful undefeated Ferrari F1 car.
The F300 debuted in 1998 after rule changes meant a new car had to be introduced. Ferrari brought F1 car designer Rory Byrne out of retirement to develop the car, and he had a significant task on his hands to adhere to the latest regulations while making the car as aerodynamic as possible. The cars had to be seven inches shorter than before, racing slicks were no longer allowed in favour of grooved ones, and there were complicated changes to the construction and size of braking systems.
Byrne developed more sculpted air intake panels that started from further forward on the car compared to the previous F310B model. Vertically mounted front shock absorbers were fitted as well as independent torsion-bar setups with push-rod accompaniment to each corner of the car, high-carbon composite disc brakes and 13-inch Bridgestone alloy wheels.
The F300 was powered by a 3.0-litre V10 engine producing around 800bhp, which revved up to an insane 17,500rpm, and was mated to a seven-speed sequential gearbox. This car started a trend of Formula One domination for Scuderia Ferrari that went on well into the 2000s.
Chassis 187 made its F1 Grand Prix debut in May 1998 during the Monaco race weekend as a spare or ‘T-car’ and went unused. However, for the Grand Prix at the Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada, chassis 187 was assigned to Michael Schumacher for the first time. It was a match made in heaven. Schumacher qualified for third place and took on David Coulthard and Mika Hakkinen in their McLaren-Mercedes MP4/13s.
Schumacher and the F300 chassis 187 won the race with a 16-second lead and set the fastest lap. The pair then went on to win three more exciting races before the 187 was retired and sold to a private owner in September 1999.
While you’d think a car like this would be pampered and restored to pristine condition, chassis 187 actually remains in the same race-worn state as when it was sold. There’s something magical about that, though – we wouldn’t mind a few battle scars left by one of the most iconic F1 drivers during one of the most influential periods of Scuderia Ferrari F1 racing history…
Better start saving, though – the Ferrari F300 chassis 187 is expected to fetch between $6 million and $8 million (around £5 million to £6.7 million) and will be auctioned on 20 August 2022.