• Jul 29th 2010 at 6:58PM
  • 12
Retired Ferrari F1 cars take to the Nurburgring – Click above for high-res image gallery

If you're lucky wealthy enough to own one of Ferrari's retired works Formula One machines, the automaker's F1 Client department takes care of maintenance and preparation of your historic racer, whether it be Nigel Mansell's ex-F190, Michael Schumacher's championship-winning F2001 or any number of pedigreed prancing ponies.

This week, the crew brought 10 of its most prized possessions out to the Nürburgring so current owners could spend some quality time behind the wheel. And the open wheelers weren't the only exotic wares in Germany. Four of the Enzo-based FXXs and 15 of the newer 599XXs were on hand, each track-only variant equipped with cutting-edge technologies that the Maranello boffins are experimenting with for future products. The "owners" of these XX models are essentially paying for the privilege of being Ferrari beta testers, but to our eyes, there are worse ways to spend a few days at the Green Hell.

[Source: Ferrari]
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The past and the future at the Nurburgring

Maranello, 28 July 2010 – Today, at Germany's Nurburgring circuit, three days of testing got underway with fifteen Ferrari 599XX and four FXX, the amazing laboratory-cars of the eponymous development programme, taking to the track for some free practice sessions.

Coming together at this special event is the present and the future, represented by these non-homologated sports cars and the Maranello company's past, in the shape of some of the single-seaters that have written their part in Scuderia Ferrari's Formula 1 history. Ten of these will be in action in Germany, run by the F1 Clienti Department of Maranello, taking turns on the circuit so that their owners can experience the excitement of driving on of the most famous tracks in motor sport.

Among these rare jewels are the F190 raced by Nigel Mansell in the 1990 Formula 1 Championship, the 412 T1 with which Gerhard Berger won the 1994 German Grand Prix, the F300, which was the forty fifth car built by Scuderia Ferrari for the 1998 season, driven to six wins by Michael Schumacher and the F2001, with which the German champion won nine races. Also present, the more recent F2007, which took both World titles for the Scuderia.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wonder if any "team orders" will be given at this event.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Comment of the Week right there.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I love the fact that the owners really don't own the cars.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Those people should be lucky they even get to drive them. They are technology test beds (except for the old F1 cars). If a competitor got their hands on one of them, everything new that Ferrari has invented would now be on every car. Since all of these are basically F1 cars the V12 engines in them are pushed, with regards to power, to the limits. So like any race car they have to be rebuilt often. Just imagine how much it would take to maintain one. It already costs a good amount to maintain a Ferrari that you can get at the dealership. So it might seem dumb to you but if I had the cash I would enter in the program, I'd pay for one of the FXXs and an retired F1 car too (cause at that point who cares about money!). You know the saying money can't buy you happiness, well maybe so but if I was one of "the owners" that "really don't own the cars" I bet I would be a hell of a lot happier driving one then the guys the watching me drive the track in one or the people making comments on car blogs about how dumb it is to pay all that money and not really own it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Im curious about what sort of time a current F1 car could turn on the ring.....
        • 5 Years Ago
        The hardest part would be finding a driver ballsy enough to push flat out on the 'Ring. Nick Heidfeld did it in the BMW Sauber F1.06 back in '07, & the fastest he managed was an 8:34.

        • 5 Years Ago
        That's rather pathetic driving if the Cobalt SS is over 10 seconds faster than an F1.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ superx1919:

        A modern day F1 car rides super low & is very stiffly sprung even on it's softest suspension setting. The Nurburgring is a VERY bumpy track, & extremely slippery in places. I don't think there's a driver alive who'd be willing to risk his life pushing one of those b*tches flat out on the 'Ring.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @superx1919 and @Franz:

        BMW-Sauber ran demonstration-spec Bridgestone rubber that day, which were several seconds slower than the actual race-spec rubber (it was a stipulation of the testing ban). Not only that, but BMW instructed the BMW-Sauber team not to run the engine at maximum revs, as well as instructing Heidfeld to not even come close to pushing the limits of the car. For all intents and purposes, it was a publicity stunt first and photo shoot at the same time. The car also had a severely-increased ride height to compensate for the undulations of the track, not found in any current F1 circuit.

        Had an F1 car been run to it's full potential, who only knows what kind of time it could achieve.
        • 5 Years Ago
        When F1 teams take their current cars to do promotional exercises like Heidfeld's drive around the 'Ring, they have to use special super-hard tyres and high/soft setups so they cannot get useful test data from the runs, as testing is banned.

        An F1 car going full-on at the 'Ring would destroy the current record. From Wikipedia:

        "In each lap, Heidfeld slowed down once to pose for a slow video truck...The two time spans in between the three passes of Heidfeld were clocked by some fans around the track (and were) over 50 seconds quicker than the fastest current Porsche 997 GT3 RSR in VLN. This translates to an average of about 200 km/h (120 mph), similar to Bellof's record, but considering the slow GP section, Heidfeld probably was faster on the Nordschleife, close to 6 minutes. Fans who respect the official record of the late Stefan Bellof settle for an "estimated 6:12"."
        • 5 Years Ago
        Heidfeld's time of 8:34 was on the combined Nordschleife and GP track (the setup for endurance racing) and included some slow drive-bys for camera trucks. His estimated time for the Nordschleife was estimated at about 6 minutes, which is 12 seconds or so faster than the outright record (set in a Porsche 956). There's no doubt that an F1 car could demolish the record.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ downhill.specialist: I'm not sure but it wouldn't surprise me. I watched an interview with Mario Theissen & Nick Heidfeld after the run & they said the car was at it's maximum ride height & softest suspension settings, & it was still bottoming out in places. With that in mind I don't think old Nick would've needed anyone to tell him not to go flat out.
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