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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!

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yeah, but what its 'ring time?

      • 5 Years Ago
      Seeing that car sends chills up my spine. Awesome.

      That was one of the most exciting races I've ever seen...right up until the crash. Those two guy pulled so far ahead of the field it was amazing.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow. Just goes to show how much the cars have changed in the last 15 years
      • 5 Years Ago
      How come people always remember the Schumacher / Hill season ending crash. But they NEVER remember the 2 Sena / Prost season ending crashes that did gave each one of them a championship.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Probably because Schumaker tried the same technique several times. He deliberately tried to run Jacques Villeneuve off the track too in 1997, but fortunately missed and only knocked himself out of the race. In later years he raced for the best run team w/ the best car, which helped him stack up the titles. I'm not saying that he isn't an incredibly good driver in his own right, but at least 50% of his success consists of 'being in the right place at the right time'.
        • 5 Years Ago
        ubergrendle: Oh PLEEEASE. LOL

        "but at least 50% of his success consists of 'being in the right place at the right time'." -> ROFL

        You can say that about ANY championship winning driver. ANY. of the drivers who have won championships in the past few years would have won if it weren't for the car they were driving.

        You can't be a great driver with a crap car and win the title anymore. Alonso, Raikkonen, Hamilton and Button wouldn't have won their respective championships if it weren't for the team and car they had.

        It's using those two key ingredients together to maximize your ability that makes you a champion, and Schumacher was the master at that.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Because people are hypocrites by nature and love only seeing things one-sided.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Riiight...all apologies. Since when does "banned" translate into "disabled"? That's not how Bennetton put it when they were accused of HAVING (not of "using") TC. Which is odd considering how Mr. Briatore was "a bastion of truth"...he'd NEVER cheat, right?

      So let it be beyond conceive that the owners of this car might have tested and ran it, despite them having said so...because that would make Schumi look bad.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Is there a giant asterisk on the dash?
      • 5 Years Ago
      After that win Schumacher got his nick name Schummell Schumi (Cheating Schumacher)
        • 5 Years Ago
        I've only been following F1 since 1996, but crashing deliberately to win the championship sounds like a typical Michael Schumacher tactic.
      • 5 Years Ago
      We would also like to clarify that the previous Benetton B194 from a "German" seller in "Toronto" listed on eBay has been removed.

      Our Benetton B194-05 in based in Silverstone, UK. It is the highest point scoring chassis Michael Shumacher used to win his first World Championship!


      Please take a look!

      Best regards,

      B. Schroeder
      • 5 Years Ago
      I can't believe there's 181 people that have enough money to have a bid in on this thing in this economy.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Where I live, times have never been better. We didn't fall into recession.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Even more telling is that the auction openly says the car has traction control.

      Traction control was banned for the 1994 season.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Because you're an idiot troll. That's why. Traction control code on cars other than the B194 in 1994, because some chassis were evolutions (rather than revolutions) of 1993 cars. The traction control code had to be disabled due to the regulations, but that doesn't mean all teams completely removed it. That would have meant completely re-writing the ECU code, when they could simply turn it off and keep it disabled.

        Also, the person/company selling this on eBay isn't necessarily the same person/company who did the restoration. They may not know the lineage of the car, other than writing up a nicely worded ad from the specs the engineers gave them.

        [/end rant]
        • 5 Years Ago
        Oh, silly me [hehe]. How could I possibly assume the owner (and restorer) of this car might know about the innards of it?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Because we all know, eBay ads are bastions of absolute fact.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Just because it may have traction control doesn't mean it was enabled.
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