The greatest Formula 1 driver of all time might be best known for driving Ferraris – but turns out Michael Schumacher also drove a Porsche Carrera GT, which is now up for sale in Germany.
Roock Sportsystem, a racing team and classic Porsche restorer from Leverkusen (just north of Cologne) is selling the rare supercar, which was supposedly driven by the seven-time F1 World Champion for over four years in secret.
Why in secret? Well, when the Carrera GT was launched in 2004, Schumacher was still with Ferrari, and as a Fiat employee, he was contractually bound to drive only vehicles from the Fiat Group.
As Elferspot explains, “nowadays just about every driver also has a private car collection… Lewis Hamilton, for example, poses unabashedly with his LaFerrari on Instagram… That would have been unthinkable 20 years ago.”
So how did Schumi drive his Porsche, then?
According to Roock, Schumacher’s manager, Willi Weber, bought the car through his company and made it available to Michael whenever he wanted to drive it – a nice little loophole, as long as he stayed away from the paparazzi while behind the wheel. Roock apparently has a written confirmation of this attached to the vehicle’s papers.
Otherwise, the only hint that the vehicle belonged to Schumacher is an ‘MS’ logo above the Carrera GT logo on the car’s rear and a small pin shaped like Schumacher’s red Schuberth F1 helmet attached to the logbook folder.
It’s a tantalising prospect. The Porsche Carrera GT is rare and exciting enough, but one driven by the greatest F1 driver of all time, in secret no less? What more could you want?
Well, there’s just one catch. Schumacher’s current manager Sabine Kehm has come out and denied the F1 great was ever directly or indirectly associated with anyone who owned this car. Michael’s brother and former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher has also weighed in, saying “as far as I know, Michael never drove a Porsche,” Auto Bild reports.
This could just be them trying to save face in front of Ferrari, but who knows…
The Porsche Carrera GT is a mid-engined targa roadster that was manufactured by the famous German sports car marque from 2004 to 2007. Widely considered one of the best Porsches and best sports cars ever made, it remains an iconic, exotic and highly desirable machine.
Powered by a 5.7L V10 engine that was originally designed by Porsche for the Footwork Formula 1 team in 1992, it makes a hefty 450kW and does 0-100km/h in 3.5 seconds: impressive figures now, but even more impressive back in 2004. It’s like an F1 car for the road, which is probably why Schumi wanted one.
Only 1,270 were ever made, and this one has only 14,200kms on the clock, so even without the Schumacher connection, this supercar will fetch a pretty penny. Roock hasn’t announced a price yet, but considering even ‘normal’ Carrera GTs regularly sell at auction for over US$1.5 million, the sky’s the limit…