RM Sotheby’s is delighted to have assisted the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) in achieving a staggering €944,392 (£845,472) in its Online Only: #RaceAgainstCOVID auction, with proceeds to benefit the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) global response to COVID-19. The sale, hosted on the auction house’s proprietary Online Only platform, featured 95 incredible collectable pieces and VIP experiences, generously donated by the global automotive and motorsport community. Adding significantly to the €1,000,000 already donated to the cause by the FIA Foundation, yesterday’s sale results were headlined by the McLaren MP4-24 show car, generously donated by McLaren. The car was created for display purposes to promote the 2009 MP4-24 Formula 1 World Championship contender. That season, raced by Heikki Kovalainen and reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton, the MP4-24 was taken to third place in the constructors’ championship. This wonderful item achieved £66,000, doubling its low pre-sale estimate.

Another remarkable result was the stunning Eau Rouge sculpture by Paul Oz, a bronze sculpture that is a 60% scale version of the life-size bronze statue on permanent display at the McLaren Technology Centre. Donated by the artist, it was created in 2019 with the approval from Instituto Ayrton Senna and the Senna family and is one of only 41 pieces, representing Ayrton Senna’s 41 victories in Formula 1. This incredible artwork achieved £48,000, smashing its pre-sale estimate. Amongst a wide selection of race suits and helmets donated by a wide variety of well-known drivers within the sport, it was Damon Hill’s 1995 Renault Racing suit and helmet that attracted the most spirited bidding. Donated by former Formula 1 World Champion, this racing suit and helmet was worn by the driver during the 1995 season, when he was racing for Williams-Renault. Specifically, this suit was worn by Hill during that year’s Australian Grand Prix, the final race of the championship, the lot achieved a staggering £39,600 against a pre-sale estimate of £5,000 to £7,000.

Maarten ten Holder, Head of Europe, RM Sotheby’s, says: “As we have seen so many times before, sales to benefit fantastic causes also generate incredible generosity. In the case of this sale, we have seen overwhelming kindness from all those within the motorsport community who donated the wonderful items and experiences the sale had to offer, and we have also seen the fans, enthusiasts, and collectors dig very deep and pay large sums to benefit this remarkable cause. This has been a remarkable success, and everyone involved should be immensely proud. Congratulations to the FIA Foundation for establishing this initiative.”

Another highlight is the ROC Buggy, donated by Fredrik Johnsson and the Race Of Champions; it is the vehicle used by Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel during the 2011 and 2012 Race Of Champions events in Dusseldorf and Bangkok. The buggy achieved £33,000 and was yet another lot that managed to double its pre-sale estimate. Unsurprisingly, the racing suit, gloves, and boots, signed by the reigning, six-time F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton and donated by Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1, brought a staggering £31,200 (est. £7/9k), while a suit worn by a likely world champion of the future Charles Leclerc, at the 2019 Belgian Grand Prix weekend in Spa-Francorchamps, donated by Scuderia Ferrari, made £30,000 (est. £5/7k). Rounding off the top-performing lots of the sale is the Lamborghini Huracán Performante Development Model, 2016 donated by Lamborghini, which more than doubled its pre-sale estimate at £30,000.

Jean Todt, FIA President, says: “Almost 2 million euros raised by the #RaceAgainstCOVID online charity auction organised by the FIA and RM Sotheby's to benefit the IFRC’s global COVID-19 response: that’s a substantial achievement. Thanks to all donators and bidders, notably the FIA Foundation, for their generous contributions. In addition to this auction, I remind that the partnership between FIA and IFRC against COVID-19 includes a preventive health support for the motorsport restart, and a reinforced cooperation between FIA Member Clubs and Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies. In these difficult times, health, mobility, and sport must walk together. We join forces in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and our FIA Sport and Mobility Clubs’ network will play an important role in this collective effort.”

Bidding for the highly exclusive lots came from more than 400 registered bidders, each representing 43 different countries and 69 percent of which were first-time clientele.