Watch Charles Leclerc Drive Michael Schumacher's 2003 Championship-Winning V10 F1 Car Like He Stole It

Formula One / 2 Comments

Turn the volume up for the glorious engine notes of yesteryear.

Charles Leclerc realized a childhood dream after driving the 2003 Ferrari F2003-GA Formula 1 car at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. We're surprised that Ferrari allowed him to drive another priceless ex-F1 car after he binned Niki Lauda's 1974 Ferrari F1 car last year. To be fair, it wasn't his fault, and he has since driven other invaluable red racers.

Leclerc shared a few video clips on the of the F2003-GA going around the circuit, and we've never missed the V10 era more. The 2003 F1 car, driven by Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello, was hugely successful. In it, Schumacher won his penultimate F1 Drivers' championship, and Ferrari won the Constructors' championship.

Charles Leclerc/Instagram
Charles Leclerc/Instagram
RM Sotheby's
RM Sotheby's

As you can hear in the clips above, there's no mistaking the engine for anything but a 3.0-liter V10 produced in-house by Ferrari. The power output ranged from 845 horsepower at 18,300 rpm in race trim to as much as 930 hp from 18,600-9,000 rpm.

"Incredible day driving this 2003 beast in Abu Dhabi. Thank you for this amazing day @thomasflohrvista," Leclerc wrote on Instagram. That user name belongs to Thomas Flohr, the founder and chairman of VistaJet, a private jet charter company.

Interestingly, an F2003-GA broke the record for an F1 car sale in November 2022. An unknown buyer paid $15 Million for the car at an auction in Geneva; could this be the same car?

RM Sotheby's

The 2003-GA got its name from the late Fiat boss, Gianni Agnelli, who passed away on 24 January 2003.

The car's accomplishments include five poles, seven wins, and 13 podiums. That may not seem like an impressive list for an entire season, but there were fewer races in those days, and more importantly, the F2003-GA only competed in the second half of the season. F2002 was so good that Ferrari used it for the first half of the following season, leaving more time to develop the GA.

It's a similar scenario to what we find in today's road cars - the basic recipe of the 458 Italia was so good that the evolutionary 488 GTB that succeeded it needed only minor changes to become today's F8 Tributo. Now if only Scuderia Ferrari could show the same excellence on-track.

RM Sotheby's

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