Schumacher's F2004: a true collectors item

10.10.2004 Suzuka, Japan, F1, Sunday, October, Michael Schumacher, GER, Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, F2004

The Ferrari F2004 is the car that took Michael Schumacher to his seventh and final Formula 1 world championship title.

In Schumacher's hands, it won 12 of the first 13 races in 2004 season. For an encore it went on to win in that season's penultimate race in Japan (pictured above, leading brother Ralf in the Williams). His team mate Rubens Barrichello also claimed two wins that year in Italy and China.

That's not to say that the season was entirely trouble-free. The F2004 was left a bit crumpled in practice for the season finale in Interlagos when Schumacher found the barriers during practice (pictured below). Repairs meant he started the Brazilian Grand Prix from near the back of the grid, so the F2004's final outing yielded just seventh place.

Even so two Ferraris dominated the drivers championship. Schumacher won the title with 148 points, with Barrichello second on 114 points. Next best that year was Honda's Jenson Button who amassed 85 points over 18 races.

23.10.2004 Interlagos, Brazil, F1, Saturday, October, Michael Schumacher, GER, Ferrari crashed

Anyway you look at it, the F2004 has earned its place in history, and deserved pride of place in a special Ferrari celebration event along the Champs Elysees in Paris later that year (pictured bottom).

And now it's a certified collectors item, as it takes pride of place in the new Michael Schumacher Collection which opened this week at Motorworld, Cologne.

The exhibition consists of 16 cars, 50 trophies and 25 helmets among more than 200 items from the Schumacher family's private collection. Trophies, family photos and press-cuttings are also on display.

Some of Schumacher's former team bosses including Flavio Briatore and Jean Todt, and fellow drivers such as Felipe Massa and Sebastian Vettel have contributed video testimonies. Mercedes has also contributed a sportscar and Formula 1 car to the display, representing Schumacher's return to the sport after his initial retirement at the end of 2005.

"[It's] is a huge thank you from the Schumacher family to the many fans of Michael and motor sport," said Sabine Kehm, Schumacher’s manager. She said that the family was resisting calling it a museum, and preferred the term collection.

"It displays significant pieces from his personal collection," she explained. "The fact this exhibition has found a home at Motorworld Cologne Rhineland is perfect for us."

The Collection is situated just a few kilometres away from Schumacher's home town of Kerpen, and the gallery is free to the general public.

05.11.2004 Paris, France, Ferrari Parade down the Champs Elysees, Sunday, Michael Schumacher, GER, Ferrari

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