A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Sold for: £13,500
Tatuus is an Italian chassis manufacturer founded by Artico Sandona in 1980 initially building single-seat racing cars for the 500cc and 1000cc Formula Monza championship. Around 15 of these early cars were built with Sandona competing in Formula Monza and Luca Melgrati achieving the first success for the team by winning the Formula Panda Monza championship with Sandona finishing second. Tatuus became the team and chassis to beat and further success followed with Melgrati winning the championship again in 1985 and 1986. For the 1988 season, the Italian manufacturer was contracted to construct the cars for the new Formula König. These cars were proper space-framed framed, slicks and wings racecars and the first season was won by a certain young, soon to be famous, Michael Schumacher. However, the marque's place in motor racing history was ensured when Renault Sport entrusted Tatuus with the construction and development of their new carbon-fibre Formula Renault 2000 and the company would eventually build around 930 of these cars. Built in 2000, this particular example was purchased by Manor Motorsport, who contested the British Formula Renault Championship with (later to be Formula One World Champion) Kimi Raikkonen as their new young driver. He proved unstoppable, winning seven out of ten events in Formula Renault UK, resulting in him winning that Championship is this very car. This was to prove the start of his Formula 1 career as, on the basis of these results, Peter Sauber gave the Finn a test with the Sauber Formula One team in September 2000 at Mugello. Further tests followed in Jerez and Barcelona, leading to Sauber signing Räikkönen for the 2001 season. Despite some critics (including FIA president Max Mosley) voicing concerns over granting an F1 Super Licence to such an inexperienced driver (Räikkönen had only ever completed 23 car races) he was nevertheless granted his licence and scored a championship point on his debut at the 2001 Australian Grand Prix. He enjoyed an impressive first year, achieving four points-scoring finishes and eight top eight places. With a year-end tally of nine points and a further handful from his team-mate Nick Heidfeld, Sauber achieved their best ever result of fourth in the constructors' championship. Following its success this car was then campaigned by Leighton Walker before being replaced in 2002. It was then laid up until in 2005 when Manor Motorsport rebuilt the monocoque with its original engine and gearbox. This is a great chance to purchase a piece of British motor racing history, with the impeccable provenance of being the car that started the career of a World Champion.