By Charles Wade-Palmer
A Grand Prix winning car driven by two of the greatest drivers ever to have taken to the tarmac is now up for grabs.
Driven by both Nelson Piquet and Michael Schumacher in the same 1991 season, the 1991 Benetton B-191-02 is estimated to sell next month for an eye-watering £770,000.
Bonhams are offering up to the public at the legendary Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium a rare chance to get their hands on a ready to race car steeped in F1 history.
The Benetton for sale made its debut at San Marino first with Roberto Moreno at the wheel before three-time champion, Nelson Piquet steered it to victory at the Canadian Grand Prix.
Now Formula One’s most successful driver of all time, a young Michael Schumacher took over the carbon-composite car from Piquet for the last two races of the ’91 season.
The Benetton was designed by John Barnard and Mike Coughlan, and is powered by a 3.5-litre, 650bhp Ford Cosworth HB V8 engine, which would rev to around 13,000rpm.
Until last year the car had been parked up as a museum exhibit but since then it has undergone a full mechanical overhaul.
Everything such as the engine, gearbox and safety equipment has been repaired, replaced or tweaked to meet the current FIA regulations, making it race-ready for the lucky new owner.
The Canadian 1991 Grand Prix winning Benetton B-191-02 will return to the for the Bonhams Spa Classic sale on May 21 at the same track where Michael Schumacher made his debut.
Schumacher qualified as seventh in the race, despite having to learn the track on a fold-up bike after his team mate ran out of time to show him the course beforehand.
Finishing just one place ahead of the young Schumacher was the Brazilian Nelson Piquet, racing the car offered by Bonhams at their sale.
The 1991 Canadian Grand Prix won by Piquet in the £770,000 car was dramatic to say the least.
Mansell led from the start, whilst Berger, Prost, and Senna all retired with various mechanical problems. By the final lap, Mansell still led Piquet, Modena, de Cesaris and Gachot.
Slowing down at the L’Epingle hairpin to give the crowd a premature celebratory wave, Mansell forgot to change down which resulted in stalling his Renault V10 engine, allowing Piquet to snatch a surprise victory!
The car later finished fifth in the British GP and eighth in France before it was handed over to Schumacher for the last two races of the season, in Japan and Australia.
After the season closed, with the legendary Ayrton Senna clinching his third and final World Championship title, and Piquet sixth in the table, the car became a museum exhibit.