Your chance to own a BMW Sauber F1 car. No, seriously

Formula 1 has announced the items that will be up for auction at its annual fundraiser, held before the British GP. Last year’s event raised 450,000 pounds for the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.

I think this year it might top that. The big item:

Arguably the most exciting item on offer is a 2006 BMW Sauber Formula One car. Driven by Nick Heidfeld to ninth in the drivers’ championship, the F1.06 has been generously donated by current BMW Sauber team principal Peter Sauber. Heidfeld racked up a total of 9,044 kilometres behind the wheel of the car and finished seventh at the British, Canadian and Chinese Grands Prix.

That’ll go for some serious cash, right?

Here’s a little more info:

The party is held with the kind permission of Bernie Ecclestone, CEO of the Formula One Group, and Santander, title sponsor of the British Grand Prix, are generously sponsoring the event for a fourth year running. Since 2005 the partnership between Formula One racing and the hospital’s charity has raised nearly £1.5 million towards its new and much needed Heart and Lung Centre.

Last year’s event added £450,000 to the Centre’s funds, which is scheduled for completion in 2012. Great Ormond Street Hospital’s Cardiac team is among the best in the world, caring for more than 7,000 children with complex heart and lung conditions every year.

“We have brought together the Formula One community to forge a unique partnership with Great Ormond Street Hospital, which has developed over many years now,” explained Ecclestone. His daughter, Tamara, is the party’s creative director and has helped to plan and oversee the event from the early stages.

Chart-topping pop act the Sugababes will perform at the party, alongside DJ Henry Holland, whilst TV presenters – and hospital patrons – Tess Daly and Vernon Kay will host the evening. However, the main focus for guests will of course be the charity auction, which will see a whole host of glamorous and exclusive lots up for grabs.

And, so you can start your planning now, here’s the complete list of items:

Main auction
– Two places at the Renault team’s ‘Feel-It’ programme in Budapest
– A private coaching session with Rugby legends Jason Leonard OBE and Will Greenwood MBE
– BMW Sauber Formula One car from 2006 season
– Your Life Story with Piers Morgan
Be interviewed by the one and only Piers Morgan for your very own Life Story, in front of a studio audience including three of your own guests. Piers will grill you about your life, in the same way he has done with celebrities such as Richard Branson and Katie Price.
– A week’s work experience with the Mercedes GP Formula One team
– A limited edition Gold & Tantalum Hublot Aerobang watch
Includes two paddock passes, lunch at McLaren’s Brand centre, a VIP tour of the McLaren garage and a ride in a two-seater car with Martin Brundle
– Have you got the X Factor?
Have you ever wondered how the X Factor judges would rate your singing talent? Put your voice to the test in front of the whole panel in Manchester on Saturday 10th July.
– A two-week stay on Necker Island

Silent auction
– A year of indulgent luxury for a lucky lady. This includes a year’s supply of body care from New York apothecary brand Kiehl’s, a year’s supply of Myla underwear, a gourmet dinner for two at Blakes, London, a year’s supply of Laurent Perrier champagne (one bottle per month), a pamper session at Urban Retreat and two nights at the Four Seasons Hotel Canary Wharf
– Your photo in OK! Magazine at the F1 Party
– Signed Fernando Alonso Ferrari racing suit
– 2 tickets to The Wizard of Oz opening night and exclusive after show party
– Theo Walcott artballing experience
– Two luxurious nights at Bovey Castle, Dartmoor National Park
– A fourball at West Hill golf course and a day of fishing at Holbury Lakes
– Gibson SG Standard guitar, signed by Simon Cowell
– Flower design school for six people at Wild at Heart
– Private Box for 15 guests at the ATP Tennis World Tour Finals at the O2
– Gunners in Europe Package
– A year’s family membership to the exclusive Riverside Health and Racquets Club
– Luxury 5 night stay in New York with Virgin Atlantic flights
– You’re Hired! A week’s work experience on The Apprentice: You’re Fired
– Stunning Issa London ballgown
– Williams F1â„¢ Power Plate®
– Monaco Spirit: A gorgeous Steinmetz charm bracelet
– A two-seater experience with Martin Brundle
– Beautiful Annya Sand ‘Splash’ painting
– The ultimate Jimmy Choo prize
– A John Lewis Home Entertainment System
– The X Factor: Two tickets to the first live show and stay at The May Fair Hotel, plus chauffeur for the night
– Trip for two on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express from Venice to London
– Bespoke Ralph & Russo ballgown
– VIP Red Bull X-Fighters tickets for 14 August 2010
– Luxury one-week stay at a Mason Rose villa in Sardinia
– A week’s work experience at Condé Nast Brides Magazine
– Signed Juventus shirt by the 09/10 team
– A luxury weekend break in Dorset and use of a Jaguar XKR

More info on the party is at this link. If any of you have some serious interest, the contact info is: email or telephone (+44) 020 7239 3058. Tickets for the Party still available at a cost of £300 each.

This is the type of event Formula 1 should do more of — or do a better job promoting. I’d hope — and I expect — there to be a strong charitable aspect to the planned USGP. It is one of the easier opportunities to do good while doing good business. I’ve seen a number of great events really become examples of community pride in large part due to the fundraising that goes on. This obviously is a big one, and one that’s close to home for many of the teams and Bernie Ecclestone himself, so I’m not surprised it gets bigger billing. But I’d definitely encourage F1 to do more to highlight its giving back.

Great job by F1 and Santander for doing this.

But enough waxing poetic. Which item would you want, money issues aside?

I’m going to guess the picks of the F1B staff:

Todd: BMW Sauber Formula One car from 2006 season (His Nick man-love fulfilled. And for those who know him outside of F1B: A John Lewis Home Entertainment System)
Grace: Signed Fernando Alonso Ferrari racing suit
Paul: The ultimate Jimmy Choo prize
Andy: Your Life Story with Piers Morgan
Mark: Williams F1™ Power Plate® (that was easy)
Laura: Your photo in OK! Magazine at the F1 Party
VMR: Flower design school for six people at Wild at Heart
Kohl: You’re Hired! A week’s work experience on The Apprentice: You’re Fired

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