- Nov 11, 2009
eBay Find of the Day: Michael Schumacher's controversial crowning 1994 Benetton B194
Michael Schumacher's championship-winning Benetton B194 – Click above for image gallery
If you thought the Formula One World Championship was wrought with controversy these days, the scandals we've seen in recent years pale in comparison to the 1994 season. Historians will remember it as the year Ayrton Senna died (along with Roland Ratzenberger) at the San Marino Grand Prix. But tragic fatalities aside, the '94 championship was settled in one of the most controversial fashions the sport's ever seen.
After a hard-fought season, Michael Schumacher (Benetton) and Damon Hill (Williams) arrived in Adelaide for the final round separated by just one point. Both titles would be decided then and there, but on lap 35 the two front-runners collided, ending the race for both. Schumacher was crowned champion – the first of seven career F1 titles – and while many called foul play, Williams, still dealing with the aftermath of Senna's death, lodged no official protest. And this is the car it all happened in.
Up for grabs on everyone's favorite online auction site is the 1994 Benetton B194 in which Schumi won that controversial title. Although it's being sold from Germany, the car's actually located in Toronto. Fortunately it's been fully repaired since that pivotal crash, its Ford-Cosworth 3.5-liter V8 rebuilt by UK's Langford Performance Engineering. It comes with a truck full of spare parts, including a laptop loaded with the engine management software, two sets of wheels and spare wings aplenty. Bidding, at the time of writing, still has five days to go, but it's already topping 2.6 million euros (that's $3.9M USD). And for a piece of racing history like this one, you can bet it's going to reach higher than that before the digital hammer drops. Hat tip to just about everyone!
[Source: eBay Motors Germany]