Can a car be art? RM Sotheby's certainly thinks so. The auction house is currently preparing for its 2017 Contemporary Art auction, and one of the lots looks as though it might be more at home at one of RM Sotheby's many motor auctions.
It's a 2001 Ferrari F1 car, and RM Sotheby's describes it as "the most important modern Formula 1 race car." It's the car that won the 2001 Constructors' and Drivers' championships. Run by Scuderia Ferrari, the most successful F1 team ever, and piloted by Michael Schumacher, the driver with the most championship titles, it seemed destined for victory from the start. It took the win at arguably F1's most iconic track, too – Monaco.
Kenneth Ahn, president of RM Sotheby's, said: "Fresh on the heels of our highly successful sale with Ferrari at their anniversary celebrations in Maranello, the unveiling of the the F2001 ... not only represents the first time RM Sotheby's has displayed or offered a motor car as part of a Sotheby's art sale, but also further evidences RM Sotheby's leadership in the market for important Ferraris at auction."
Unusually for a piece of art, the F2001 is in full working order. RM Sotheby's calls it "usable art" and says it can be piloted to its limits in historic racing. Whether you'd be willing to do so with a multi-million pound F1 car is another matter entirely, but the auction listing notes Ferrari can help with that.
The manufacturer will house the car in Maranello and transport it worldwide for pre-arranged events, or even private track days. The prospective owner will also benefit from tutoring by Ferrari's own F1 technicians, mechanics and test drivers.
If you want a slice of F1 history, you can view the car at RM Sotheby's Hong Kong Autumn sales week from September 28 to October 3. After that it's on show in the Rockefeller Centre and Sotheby's Manhattan HQ ahead of the auction itself.