How can you measure the importance of a car like the one we are presenting to you today? Is it by its name, the name of its manufacturer? Or by the name of its creator and the men who believed in its dream? Or by the name of the man who made it shine throughout the world with all his talent, all his genius? It is certainly a subtle mix of all of these, but one thing is certain, the Benetton B192-06 that we present in these pages is an exceptional piece, the one through which a driver emancipated himself to become one of the greatest Formula 1 world champions of all time, a legend who has made an appointment with history! Michael Schumacher has given F1 as much as it has given him. In a world of superlatives, there is no doubt that the single- seaters that have been in his hands will have that extra something that makes a race car an icon of its generation, a milestone in history.Benetton B192, 1992
Châssis n° B192-06
Ford HB V8 engine (Langford Performance Engineering)
Eligible for Formula Legend 3.5 by Peter Auto, Boss GP, HSR...
Competition vehicle without registration title
Estimate: €900 000 - 1 200 000
In fact, when Italian fashion giant Benetton bought the struggling Toleman team in 1985, it acquired the services of what is arguably its greatest asset: the brilliant South African-born designer Rory Byrne. After years of investment, Byrne finally had a significant development budget, and his BMW Turbo-powered B186 gave his Italian sponsors their first win in their first full season. For the next decade, Byrne's genius would dominate, with aerodynamic effi- ciency and relatively conservative engineering solutions being the comerstones oh his philosophy, his genius.
After starting the 1992 Formula One season with a 'B' version, an evolution of the pre- vious year's B191, Benetton introduced its new Byrne-designed B192 chassis at the fourth round of the season in Spain. Although broadly within the same design parameters as the B191 - pushrod suspension front and rear, Ford HB V8 power and the notable absence of a semi-automatic gearbox or active suspension − it was immediately clear that the car was a considerable improvement on its predeces- sors. Indeed, lead driver Michael Schumacher rewarded the team almost immediately with a 2nd place finish on his debut, behind Mansell's Williams-Renault. A 4th place in Monaco and another 2nd place in Canada for Schumacher − accompanied by a 4th place in San Marino and a 5th place in Monaco − maintained the encouraging form of the new car, giving the team cause for optimism as the second half of the season approached.
The Benetton B192 with the chassis number, B192-06, was used as Schumacher's desi- gnated race chassis in the British, German and Italian Grands Prix, and later as the team's reserve car in four other Grands Prix. At Silverstone, Mansell started on pole nearly two seconds ahead of teammate Riccardo Patrese, who in turn was nearly a second ahead of Ayrton Senna's McLaren-Honda in third. Michael Schumacher was a solid fourth in his B192-06 and was the talk of the weekend after his clash with the Brazilian star, who was unable to keep up with the Williams-Renaults' extraordinary pace. As expected, Mansell took his seventh win in nine races, 39 seconds ahead of Patrese, while a frustrated Schumacher finished fourth in the B192-06 behind team-mate Martin Brundle, who was delayed by an altercation with Stefano Modena's Jordan.
The prodigiously fast Hockenheim circuit was a handicap for the Benettons, who pointed to the power deficit of the Ford HB engine compared to the Renault, Honda and Ferrari. Once again, the Williams-Renault team dominated the proceedings, although the McLarens of Senna and Berger were closer to the pace than at Silverstone. Jean Alesi's Ferrari managed to get up to 5th place on the grid ahead of an unflappable Schumacher, once again driving the B192-06. Racing in front of his home crowd for the first time, the German driver would get the crowd roaring with joy as he passed Alesi on the start line and then took advantage of Berger's delayed pit stop and Patrese's spin on the final lap to take a well-deserved 3rd place behind the eventual world champion, Nigel Mansell and Ayrton Senna.
Although Mansell won the championship in Hungary the teams head to the picturesque Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium at the end of August with much still to play for. The battle for the 'best of the rest' title between Senna, Patrese and Schumacher is still on, and on this occasion the B192-06 is relegated to the role of reserve car, the B192-05 being Schumacher's designated chassis for the weekend. Masterful driving − aided by the inspired work of his team in the pits in response to the obviously fickle Ardennes weather − led to a brilliant first Grand Prix victory for Michael Schumacher and the B192, the first for a German driver since Jochen Mass in 1975!
The last race of the B192-06's relatively brief but illustrious career took place at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in mid-September. Given the similarities in track between Hockenheim and Monza, it was perhaps not surprising that Schumacher once again found himself in 6th place after qualifying, with Mansell once again taking pole position, his 11th of the season.
After a torrid first lap in which he selected the wrong gear at the start and then had to pit for emergency repairs following a collision in the first corner, Schumacher once again confirmed his status as one of Formula 1's emerging talents with a brilliant drive to finish third. For only the second time that year, Mansell was forced to retire after an electrical fault, leaving Senna to win the race comfortably ahead of Brundle in the second Benetton.
The last three races of the 1992 season (Portugal, Japan and Australia) saw the B192-06 used once again as a reserve car, with Schumacher finishing the year in a very respectable 3rd place in the drivers' standings − ahead of his hero, Ayrton Senna, no less − and Brundle 6. Beyond the driver's talent alone, the talents of Rory Byrne and technical director Ross Brawn proved essential in ena- bling this car to shine against more financially powerful competition. There is no doubt that the combination of the three was responsible for Schumacher's World Drivers' Championships with the team in 1994 and 1995.
At the end of his racing career, the B192-06 chassis remained with the Benetton team for some years. According to our sources, it was even in the 1993 season in front of driver Ricardo Patrese's car for nine events of the season (file available on request) before taking a deserved retirement. It was then sold to British driver Matthew Mortlock who drove it in a few BOSS GP races. The same chassis will then be owned by Prestige Racing in March 2010. Maintained by LRS Formula until 2015, our car took part in several test sessions such as at Magny-cours during the Classic Days before joining the collection of its current owner in February 2017.
In its original and eye-catching livery, it retains a correctly specified Ford HB Langford Performance Engineering V8 engine and a six-speed sequential gearbox. Our Benetton B192-06 has just been fitted with two sets of rims that match those of the 1992 season (not fitted during the photo report) and will be able to take the start of the promising Formula Legend 3.5 by Peter Auto, which should see the price of single-seaters from this period soar.