Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari car sold for record $7.5 million

The seven-time world champion's 2001 Ferrari F2001 sparked furious bidding, roaring past its pre-sale estimate of $4-5 million at Sotheby's flagship post-war and contemporary November evening art sale.

The Ferrari F1 car Michael Schumacher used to win the Monaco Grand Prix and F1 driver's championship in 2001 went up for auction on Thursday night.   -  Getty Images

Michael Schumacher's Grand Prix-Winning Ferrari sold for $7.5 million in New York on Thursday, setting an auction record for a modern-era Formula One car, Sotheby's said.

The seven-time world champion's 2001 Ferrari F2001 sparked furious bidding, roaring past its pre-sale estimate of $4-5 million at Sotheby's flagship post-war and contemporary November evening art sale.

It put the buzz into a night that otherwise fell short of the dizzying heights reached by Christie's on Wednesday selling a painting of Christ attributed to Leonardo da Vinci for a record $450.3 million.

Sotheby's said it was the first time that a rare automobile was included in an art auction and the decision appeared popular.

The sleek, low-slung, fire-engine red vehicle may not have been a work of art, but Gregoire Billault, senior Sotheby's vice president, called it "the very best racing car ever sold at an auction."

The German racing legend has not been seen in public since suffering serious head injuries in a skiing accident in 2013. His record of seven titles and 91 career victories remains unchallenged.

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