Double podium finisher which grabbed headlines when the Finn vanished after retiring it from the 2006 Monaco Grand Prix having gone straight back to his yacht!
August 11, 2023 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – Bonhams|Cars is delighted to announce that it will be offering another Formula 1® icon at this year’s prestigious On The Grid sale staged at the spectacular Yas Marina Circuit during the season-closing Formula 1® Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on 25 November, 2023.
Kimi Räikkönen’s famous McLaren MP4/21 (estimate: US$2.5–3.5 million) will be joining Mario Andretti’s title winning 1978 John Player Special Lotus-Cosworth Type 79 (estimate: US$6.5–9.5 million) under the Bonhams|Cars hammer come the renowned auction house’s first On The Grid sale since becoming the official auction partner of the Formula 1 Paddock Club™.
Powered by Mercedes’ ferocious V8 engine – a naturally-aspirated 2.4-litre power unit developing no less than 750bhp at a heady 19,000rpm – the chrome liveried MP4/21 was McLaren’s striking contender for the 2006 Formula 1 season.
With Räikkönen and Juan Pablo Montoya as its drivers, the British team had high hopes for the needle-nosed MP4/21 designed under Adrian Newey’s technical directorship and the Finn did not disappoint, delivering a podium finish at the opening race in Bahrain, racing through the field after starting 22nd and last on the grid after crashing in qualifying.
Having been struck from behind on the opening lap in Malaysia and forced into an early retirement, Räikkönen was back on the podium in Australia, setting the fastest lap as he attempted to chase down the leading Renault of victor Fernando Alonso in the closing stages.
Those results followed by four further top six finishes in the San Marino, European (Nürburgring), Spanish and French Grands Prix were all achieved in chassis ‘02’, the MP4/21 being sold in Abu Dhabi. For all its impressive finishes, however, the car is probably most famous for its celebrated non-finish in Monte Carlo.
From third place on the grid, Räikkönen had risen to second – again behind Alonso – but was forced to retire during a safety car period after a wiring loom caught fire. In classic Kimi style, the supercool Finn opted not to head back to his McLaren team’s pits but, much to the amusement of all, instead ambled off to spend the rest of the race aboard a superyacht in Monaco’s glamorous harbour! This typically unconcerned moment from the racer known as ‘The Iceman’ has gone down in Formula 1 folklore.
The MP4/21 was the final McLaren raced by Räikkönen who left the team at the end of the 2006 season to join Ferrari – a move which took Kimi to the 2007 Drivers World Championship title.
Since making its final Grand Prix appearance at Magny Cours for the French Grand Prix in July 2006, chassis ‘02’ has been extensively restored by McLaren and remained within the company’s heritage collection until being sold to its current owner in 2021.
Whetting appetites ahead of Abu Dhabi, this F1 icon is being displayed at Bonhams|Cars’ next sale – The Quail Auction – in California on 18 August, as well as at The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at the WeatherTech®Raceway Laguna Seca held 12-13 August.
The Quail Auction commences at the Quail Lodge & Golf Club’s West Field at 11:00 (PDT) on Friday 18 August preceded by Previews on Wednesday 16 August (09:00-18:00), Thursday 17 August (09:00-18:00) and Friday 18 August (08:30-11:00).
Full details of all Bonhams|Cars’ future sales can be found on the new-look Bonhams|Cars website at BonhamsCars.com.
2006 McLaren MP4/21 – chassis ‘02’
Bahrain GP – Kimi Räikkönen – Third
Malaysian GP – Kimi Räikkönen – Retired – accident on opening lap
Australian GP – Kimi Räikkönen – Second (fastest race lap)
San Marino GP – Kimi Räikkönen – Fifth
European GP (Nürburgring) – Kimi Räikkönen – Fourth
Spanish GP – Kimi Räikkönen – Fifth
Monaco GP – Kimi Räikkönen – Retired from second – engine overheating/fire
French GP – Kimi Räikkönen – Fifth
Head of Communications
Bonhams|Cars uniquely offers a choice of live, online and private platforms for buying and selling collector cars—platforms characterised by levels of trust, reliability, and transparency born of over three decades of experience as the premier automotive auction house. Through prestigious live auctions around the world, 24/7 online auctions, and our recently introduced Private Sales service, Bonhams|Cars makes it simple for buyers and sellers to find the platform that best meets their needs.
Bonhams|Cars host 17 live auctions annually, participates in all the significant concours around the world, and presents unique selling opportunities at international events such as the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as the official auction partner of the Formula 1 Paddock Club™, Goodwood Motorsport Events in the UK, The Quail on the Monterey Peninsula in California, The Audrain Concours in Newport, Rhode Island and The Zoute Concours d’Elégance in Belgium. At Bonhams|Cars Online, formerly The Market by Bonhams, we provide our clients with fast, expert, accurate and agile single-car auctions, 24/7. With dedicated motoring departments in London, Paris, Los Angeles, New York, Brussels and beyond, Bonhams|Cars has a world-class team with expertise in all divisions, from vintage cars to racing motorsport and automobilia to motorcycles.
For more information, please visit BonhamsCars.com