What Price a Formula One Pedigree? Jenson Button’s Ferrari to Be Auctioned

Making room for a McLaren MP4-12C?

Jenson Button, the 2009 Formula One champion and driver for the McLaren-Mercedes Formula One team, has parted ways with his 1978 Ferrari 512BB. The berlinetta will be auctioned by Bonhams at an event scheduled for April 11 at the Royal Air Force Museum in Hendon, a northwestern suburb of London.

“My F1 commitments will not enable me to enjoy the car to its fullest,” said Button in a news release on Tuesday. Most recently, those commitments included a Monday run around the Bathurst circuit in Melbourne, Australia, in his team’s MP4-23 racecar — a promotional exercise he participated in ahead of the Australian Grand Prix, which is scheduled for March 27. Button is the race’s defending champion.

According to the auction house, Button has owned the Ferrari 512 BB — its initials stand for Berlinetta Boxer — for just one year. It was treated to what Bonhams called a major service last September and reportedly received £94,000, or about $154,000, in upkeep and refurbishment over its lifetime.

The car was sold at auction by H&H in April of last year for £82,500. The odometer reading at the time of sale was 49,100 miles. Bonhams cites a preauction reading of 49,155.

Apparently, Button was not lying about being too busy to enjoy the car.

Bonhams has set a pre-auction estimate of £90,000 to £110,000 for the Ferrari. Based on the car’s £82,500 sale in 2010, its Button provenance — all 55 miles of it — is being evaluated from £7,500 to £27,500.