It’s a truly spine-tingling feeling as the three-litre V10 catches with a rapturous bark and those all-too-familiar eyes peer out over the slender nose of the scarlet single-seater. This isn’t the first time Mick Schumacher has driven one of his father’s old cars, but it’s the first time he’s driven one at Michael’s former home from home, Fiorano, and must rank among the most special. See, the Ferrari F2002 was – and remains – one of the most formidably dominant machines in Formula 1’s history and this particular car, chassis 219, was instrumental in securing Michael Schumacher’s fifth drivers’ title. Its victories in San Marino and Austria sowed the early seeds, but it was the win at Magny-Cours in France that sealed the championship for Schumacher with a staggering six rounds remaining.
The significance of the task at hand is not lost on his son Mick, who’s forging his own path through the motorsport ranks – he won the European Formula 3 Championship in 2018, has showed promise in his first season of Formula 2 in 2019 and in his role as a Ferrari Academy driver has already tested for the Scuderia. Given his potential and, of course, his legendary name, his ascent to Formula 1 is surely all but a certainty. He peels out of the Fiorano pit lane and begins to wind up the highly-strung thoroughbred, the ear-bleeding shriek trying its best to keep up. They certainly don’t make them like they used to.
The driving is sadly over in what feels like a heartbeat, but there’s plenty of time for static photography with Mick and the car. Mick is not a dead ringer for his father, but the resemblance is certainly clear to see. And as he wanders around and peers closely at every last inch of the car, clearly utterly beguiled by its beauty and significance, I have to remind myself to keep taking photos and not simply stop and stare. It’s a poignant yet magical moment. Whoever’s lucky enough to cast the winning bid when chassis 219 crosses the block on 30 November in Abu Dhabi will leave with an ultra-special scarlet slice of motorsport history. And who knows – perhaps Mick will be able to let loose in the car again one day?
Photos: Rémi Dargegen for RM Sotheby’s © 2019