If you have grown up watching Formula 1, then Kimi Räikkönen is a name that needs no introduction. An illustrious career spanning two decades and a World Championship title to his name, Räikkönen recently announced his retirement from the sport and you can own a part of his racing history by bidding for his 2002-2003 McLaren, that goes for auction later this week.
According to the details posted by the auction house, the car, MP4-17, was introduced during the 2002 season. The chassis number, MP4-17A-06, was used as a spare car for the first three races of the season and then debuted at the Grand Prix of Europe, where Räikkönen finished third. After an engine failure in the next race, the next outing, at the Grand Prix de France, Räikkönen raced in this car to finish second, and his teammate David Coulthard finished third. The remainder of the season was eventful but did result in podium finishes.
For the next season, McLaren could not get the next iteration of its car ready in time and this car received the upgrade to the MP4-17D specification. David Coulthard drove the car to a first-place finish in the season opener in Australia. After serving as a test car for the next two races, Räikkönen was back at the wheel at San Marino Grand Prix, where he finished second and ended the season with a second-place finish in this car at the Suzuka Grand Prix.
Being auctioned in the MP4-17A configuration, the car is designed by Adrian Newey, Mike Coughlan, Neil Oatley, and Peter Prodromou. It features a 3.0-liter Mercedes-Benz FO110M V-10 engine capable of generating 845 horsepower at 18,500 rpm. It sports a seven-speed longitudinal automatic sequential gearbox that was designed by McLaren and electronics designed by TAG. Available with the original West livery, the car has Enkei wheels with Michelin tires and comes to a halt using its Hitco brake discs and AP Racing brake calipers, the listing said.
The historic car is expected to bring in around between 2 and 2.5 million Swiss francs (US$ 2.1 - 2.7 million) to the auction house and is scheduled to go under the hammer on September 17.
Although priceless for Räikkönen fans, the bid price of the car is not very close to record prices that other Formula 1 cars have commanded in their auctions. Like us, if you are not in a position to bid for this, why not leave with Kimi's words that F1 "has never been my life" or check out how to build one from scratch.