Kimi Rakkonen drives the Ferrari-powered 2001 Sauber-Petronas C20
While children ask their parents where people go after they die, gearheads ask what happens to racing cars after they're retired. With a dozen teams on the F1 grid, each building several new cars each season, the retired ones add up quickly. The answer, for all the wide-eyed and curious little racing fans out there, is that most of them remain in the team's possession, either sitting in storage or on display in museums. But once in a while, teams will sell their retired chassis to other teams or to the public. Each one can fetch millions apiece, which can help a constructor generate extra income to help offset its nine-figure annual budget.
They don't come around that often, but for any jetsetters with an extra couple of million burning a hole, try and book next week's puddle-jumper to Zurich, where Sauber will be auctioning off several of its old racing cars – drawn from the team's era as an independent constructor before BMW snatched them up – at the Kloten airport starting February 19. F1 cars with pedigree command serious premiums, and while Sauber never actually won a race, much less a championship, some big names – including Alesi, Salo, Villeneuve, Raikkonen and Massa – drove for the team between 1993 and 2006. The first F1 car which reigning world champion Kiki Raikkonen raced in 2001 is reportedly among those up for grabs, so get your checkbook and call Swiss Air.