Offered by RM Sotheby’s | St. Moritz, Switzerland | September 9, 2022
For 1988, Williams returned to naturally aspirated power for their FW12. The car transformed into the FW12C for 12 of 1989’s 16 races. During the ’89 season, Williams employed drivers Riccardo Patrese and Thierry Boutsen.
The engine was a 3.5-liter Renault V10 that made about 650 horsepower. This car, chassis #10, was initially used as a spare car before being used in competition. It’s race history includes:
1989 French Grand Prix – 3rd (with Riccardo Patrese)
1989 German Grand Prix – 4th (with Patrese)
1989 Hungarian Grand Prix – 16th, DNF (with Patrese, from pole)
1989 Belgian Grand Prix – 19th, DNF (with Patrese)
The car was later purchased directly from Williams. It has its engine still, though it is said to be incomplete. You can read more about it here.
Offered by Artcurial | Le Mans, France | July 2, 2022
1983 Renault RE40
First up is Renault’s 1983 entrant, the RE40. It led them to second place in the constructor’s championship that season, with drivers Eddie Cheever and Alain Prost, the latter of whom drove this car. And won a race in it.
The powerplant is a turbocharged 1.5-liter Renault-Gordini V6 that made about 640 horsepower. The competition history for this chassis, #3, includes:
1983 San Marino Grand Prix – 2nd (with Alain Prost)
1983 Monaco Grand Prix – 3rd (with Prost)
1983 Belgian Grand Prix – 1st (with Prost)
1983 U.S. Grand Prix – 8th (with Prost)
1983 Italian Grand Prix – 19th, DNF (with Prost)
It was also used as a test car for both drivers during the season. It was restored in 1995 and is now being offered directly from Renault’s collection. The estimate is $850,000-$1,250,000. Click here for more info.
Update: Not sold/withdrawn
1986 Tyrrell-Renault 015
Tyrrell Racing was actually around for quite a while, debuting in 1971 and lasting through 1998. That puts this car sort of right in the middle of their existence. The 015 was designed by Maurice Philippe and featured power from Renault.
The Renault-Gordini engine is a turbocharged 1.5-liter V6, which this chassis, #3, retains. Its competition history is not described, but the teams driver’s were Martin Brundle and Philippe Streiff, the latter of whom kept this car at the end of the season. He traded it to Renault in 1994 for a 1984 Renault F1 car.
Renault is now selling it, with an estimate $160,000-$260,000. Click here for more info.
Update: Not sold/withdrawn.
1993 Williams-Renault FW15
Williams‘ FW15 was the team’s car for 1993. It was designed by a who’s who of F1: Patrick Head, Adrian Newey, Paddy Lowe, and Eghbal Hamidy. A Renault 3.5-liter V10 was stuffed out back, and the combination proved super successful: Williams won the constructor’s championship, with driver Alain Prost taking the driver’s championship. The team’s other driver was Damon Hill.
Unfortunately, this is not a race chassis and has never had an engine in it. It’s purely a display car and has been retained by “the constructor” since new. Renault is selling other cars, so it’s unclear if this is coming from Renault or Williams, but I’d assume Renault. The estimate is $42,000-$84,000. Click here for more info.
Update: Sold $54,696.
1997 Benetton B197
Benetton’s 1997 car was the B197, designed under technical director Pat Symonds. It featured power from a 3.0-liter Renault V10 capable of up to 755 horsepower. Unfortunately, this is a pure display car as well, so it’s never even had an engine mounted in it. That said, the body is a real ex-F1 car body, complete with Mild Seven livery.
Benetton utilized Jean Alesi for the entire season along with Gerhard Berger, who was replaced by Alexander Wurz for three races mid-season due to health issues. Berger won a race upon his return, proof that someone else in your seat makes you step up your game. The estimate here is $42,000-$84,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | July 5, 2019
Williams was a star in F1 in the early 1990s. Part of that had to do with the fact that Adrian Newey was designing their cars. The Williams FW14 was for 1991 season and was updated to FW14B-spec for 1992. And it was a beast.
Team drivers Riccardo Patrese and Nigel Mansell managed to win the constructors championship while utilizing the six “B” chassis built for the season. This was the first car designed by Newey and it rocked. It’s probably the best car Williams has ever fielded.
Power is from a 3.5-liter V10 capable of 760 horsepower – at 14,500 rpm! Usually publicly-owned F1 cars have replacement engines, but this one is the real deal, carrying the motor Mansell used to win the opening round of the championship. The competition history for this chassis includes:
1992 South African Grand Prix – 1st (with Nigel Mansell)
1992 Mexican Grand Prix – 1st (with Mansell)
1992 Brazilian Grand Prix – 1st (with Mansell)
1992 Spanish Grand Prix – 1st (with Mansell)
1992 San Marino Grand Prix – 1st (with Mansell)
1992 Monaco Grand Prix – 2nd (with Mansell)
1992 Canadian Grand Prix – 23rd, DNF (with Mansell)
1992 British Grand Prix – 2nd (with Riccardo Patrese)
1992 German Grand Prix – 8th (with Patrese)
1992 Hungarian Grand Prix – 13th, DNF (with Patrese)
1992 Belgian Grand Prix – 3rd (with Patrese)
1992 Italian Grand Prix – 5th (with Patrese)
1992 Portuguese Grand Prix – 19th, DNF (with Patrese)
The car was then mostly destroyed in an airborne accident at Estoril when Patrese hit Gerhard Berger wheel-to-wheel at speed. Mansell went on to be World Champion later that year.
It’s obviously since been restored. Championship-winning F1 cars don’t trade hands publicly often, and Bonhams is mum on a reserve. Check back in a few weeks to see if it sold – and for how much. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.