Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari F2001b is set to go under the hammer, with the car having only ever made two Grand Prix appearances.
The F2001b was used in the opening two rounds of the 2002 season, as the Maranello-based team’s car for that season wasn’t quite ready.
Ferrari discovered a gearbox problem with the F2002, which forced the Italians to make the bold decision.
Instead of starting the season on the back foot with the F2002, Ferrari decided to reuse the title winning F2001, but with some new parts.
It was therefore titled the F2001b, which Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello drove at the Australian Grand Prix and the Malaysian Grand Prix that season.
Given that the car was a year old, not much was expected from the historic side until they introduced their actual 2002 car.
Unsurprisingly, this prediction was completely wrong.
Schumacher topped every practice session at Albert Park, before going on to win the season-opener in Australia.
He backed this up with pole position in Malaysia, which marked the 150th time that the Scuderia had started from P1.
Following an opening lap collision though, the seven-time World Champion failed to convert his pole into victory, after being in 21st at the end of the first lap.
He did excellently to recover to third, claiming yet another rostrum.
At the third round of the 2002 season in Brazil, Ferrari introduced the F2002.
Schumacher was basically unbeatable in the F2002, which he won in instantly.
For the remainder of the 2002 season, the German claimed 10 victories from 15 races.
The F2001b therefore holds a very iconic moment in Ferrari’s history, and will go under the hammer next weekend in an RM Sotheby’s auction.
Some of Schumacher’s other F1 cars have sold for millions of dollars, with this likely to be no exception.
2002 ended up being a symbolic season for the 91-time race winner, as he claimed his third consecutive title, taking him to five Drivers’ Championships.
This saw him draw level with fellow five-time World Champion Juan Manuel Fangio, whom he eclipsed with a sixth title in 2003.