26 October 2011
2008 Force India Formula One Racing Car
To be auctioned on Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Sold for £168,000
- Chassis no. VJM01-05
• Dexter Brown art car, created from Force India F1 racer
• Driven by Giancarlo Fisichella in 16 races in 2008
• Signed by 41 Formula One racing drivers and other dignitaries
• Auctioned for charity, including Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital
Art cars have become a feature of the collector car landscape in recent years, largely due to the 18 commissioned by BMW from such artists as Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg and David Hockney. However, nobody had painted a Formula One racer until Dexter Brown was commissioned to do the 2008 Force India, VJM01, offered here. Brown had previously painted a BMW 7-Series sedan for a show in Italy in 1993 and has been making pictures of racing cars for three decades. Using his distinctive technique of broken brush strokes, Brown’s art has been exhibited at the Blackhawk Museum in California, the Porsche Museum in Tokyo and the Rosso Bianco Museum in Germany. His work can currently be seen at the Pullman Museum in London.
This particular F1 car was driven by Giancarlo Fisichella in 16 of 18 races for Force India in 2008 but will be sold as a static display, without its Formula One engine. The art car has been signed by 41 Formula One drivers and other dignitaries including Bernie Ecclestone, John Surtees, Lewis Hamilton, Sir Jackie Stewart, Michael Schumacher, Niki Lauda and Sir Stirling Moss. Proceeds of the sale will be divided between the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital in London Children and Force India’s Academy, which gives youngsters in India the chance to get involved in motorsport. A book about the art car project has been produced by Linda Balzanella and Erik Meijer, and the first edition was presented at the inaugural Indian Grand Prix in October.
Giancarlo Fisichella is one of only nine F1 drivers to have 200 F1 race starts. He began his career with Formula 3 in Italy, winning the championship in 1994 and joining Minardi’s F1 team in 1996. He moved to Jordan in 1997, then Benetton between 1998-2001, back to Jordan in 2002-2003, Sauber in 2004 and Renault in 2005-2007. He was a steady performer scoring numerous top 10 finishes for Renault and finishing 4th in the championship in 2006. Fisichella joined the Silverstone-based team Force India (which had been Spyker) in 2008 and raced through 2009, finishing in second at the Belgian Grand Prix.
The complete list of signatories on the car includes: John Surtees, Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg, Ross Brawn, Prince Michael of Kent, Sir Stirling Moss, Sir Jackie Stewart, Niki Lauda, Damon Hill, David Coulthard, Eddie Jordan, Vijay Mallya, Martin Whitmarsh, Eric Boullier, Peter Sauber, Tony Fernandez, Patrick Head, Mike Gascoyne, Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, Mark Webber, Felipe Massa, Nick Heidfeld, Vitaly Petrov, Kamui Kobayashi, Sergio Perez, Adrian Sutil, Paul di Resta, Rubens Barrichello, Pastor Maldonado, Jaime Alguesuari, Sebastien Buemi, Heikki Kovalainen, Jarno Trulli, Jerome d’Ambrosio, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Garry Paffett, Bruno Senna, Karun Chandhok, Narain Karthikeyan and of course Giancarlo Fisichella himself.
Great Ormond Street Hospital is the UK’s leading paediatric research hospital and receives more than 175,000 patient visits every year from children all over the country. Nearly half of their patients are under three years of age, and the majority require intensive care or have high-dependency needs. Critically ill children from across the UK are referred to them by other hospitals and consultants who are unable to provide the children with the world-class expertise and highly specialised treatment they require. Indeed, many of the hospital’s patients have unique, complex and life-threatening illnesses, and Great Ormond Street Hospital is often their last hope.
The dedicated F1 enthusiast is presented here not only with the opportunity to acquire a unique, one-off collector’s item but also to contribute to a very worthy cause.