Still up for grabs: in 1992 Michael Schumacher raced to his first-ever podium finish, taking third place in what was to become the last ever Mexican Grand Prix – until 2015, of course. The car that took him there, the Benetton-Ford B191B Formula One Racing Single-Seater, was offered as part of Bonhams Bond Street Sale with a pre-sale auction estimate of £240,000-300,000, but no one bought it.
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Schumacher’s Mexican place was only the eighth race of his fledgeling career and heralded the start of many podium appearances for the seven-time Formula 1 World Champion.
Qualifying third fastest of the 30 entries, he tore round to score his first-ever Formula One ‘podium’ finish, with third place. The car today is liveried in the same specification to this historic race. He then followed up that performance in the Benetton-Ford by qualifying fifth fastest in it for the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos, and again finishing third for the second top-three finish of his now-legendary Formula 1 career. The car was then retired from active service.
Unusually for many historic Grand Prix single-seaters, this car is in full working order and thus enables the new owner the opportunity to drive, or race, the same car that Schumacher raced.
Unusually for many historic Grand Prix single-seaters, this car is in full working order and thus enables the new owner the opportunity to drive, or race, the same car that Schumacher raced. The magnificent Benetton-Ford provided landmark performances in the career of not just Schumacher, but three great drivers who campaigned it in the early 1990s.
“Chassis 6 is highly respected as the Benetton that took Schumacher to his first podium position. But, that’s not where the story ends, for this was also the car that took three-time Formula 1 World Champion driver, Brazil’s Nelson Piquet, through his last Grand Prix on the beautiful Adelaide street and parkland circuit in the 1991 season,” said James Knight, Bonhams International Head of Motoring. “For his Benetton debut, chassis 6 then went on to take present-day Formula 1 TV commentator and highly-respected pundit Martin Brundle to eighth in the South Africa Grand Prix of 1992. This car really has enjoyed a fantastic career, and now more than two decades after it’s debut, it can make an exciting addition to any enthusiasts motoring collection.”