Formula 1

Toyota Donates Last F1 Car to #RaceAgainstCovid Charity Auction

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Credit: Sotherby's / FIA

Toyota GAZOO Racing have donated a prototype of their last Formula 1 car to the #RaceAgainstCovid charity auction, and it is set to become one of the star items for the event.

The auction, organized by RM Sotheby’s, is being held to raise money to aid the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The FIA has already given €1m to the organisation.

Toyota’s offering, the TF109-01, was a chassis tested early in the 2009 season by then Toyota drivers Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli. The sister machines of the TF109-01 managed five podium positions, as well as a pole position, giving the Japanese team fifth in the constructor’s world championship.

Sadly however, the team had to pull out of the sport after 2009, leaving the 2010 prototype finished, but never raced.

The TF109-01 then went on to become a Pirelli tire test car, driven by the likes of Nick Heidfeld, Romain Grosjean, Pedro de la Rosa, and Lucas di Grassi.

The car remains in Pirelli’s black testing livery, and comes complete with the original engine and gearbox.

Other teams and drivers have donated items of memorabilia of their own, with Scuderia Ferrari donating 2019 race-winning suits worn by Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc, and even a chance to win a day trip to Maranello to try out their simulator. Mercedes have also donated suits, boots, and gloves signed by Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas.

On top of the donations of Mercedes and Ferrari, Damon Hill’s 1995 Australian GP-winning helmet and overalls will be up for auction, and overalls from multiple-time Le Mans champion Tom Kristensen that he used in his last World Endurance Championship race for Audi at Interlagos in 2014. More memorabilia will be announced in the coming days.

The auction will run from 15 June to 22 June and can be accessed here. 

“Since the beginning of the health crisis the FIA and the entire motor sport community have been committed to fighting the pandemic through many initiatives such as #RaceAgainstCovid,” said FIA president Jean Todt, per Motorsport.com.

“Today, we have another opportunity to show our strength and unity. I very much welcome the FIA and RM Sotheby’s collaboration for the benefit of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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