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Senna’s GP-winning McClaren F1 car for sale at auction

Published 07 February 2018

Ayrton Senna’s grand prix-winning McLaren F1 car is heading to auction. The record-setting 1993 Ford MP4/8A single-seater will go under the hammer at Bonhams’ Monaco sale on 11 May.

For Senna, who won six Monaco GPs it total, 1993 was his last season with McLaren. The team had ended its successful engine supply partnership with Honda and was due to use Peugeot engines in 1994.

To tide them over, a last-minute deal had been struck with Cosworth to run their V8 HB powerplants. Senna was concerned that the V8 was no match for the Renault V10, which powered arch rival Alain Prost’s Williams. Senna struck a deal with McLaren on a race-by-race basis (a rumoured $1m for every start).

In the hands of Senna, the short wheelbase MP4/8A proved to be a nimble competitor – but ultimate it wasn’t quick enough to beat Prost in the FW15C and the Brazilian driver finished second that year.

GPL 93 Mc Laren MP 4-8 Senna Monaco 2-1

The car that’s for sale is chassis number six and was driven by Senna in eight races that season, including the qualifying session for Monaco where an apparent problem with the McLaren’s ‘active suspension’ saw the car crash out. Engineers rebuilt it and Senna won the race after rival Prost was served a time penalty for jumping the start (and Michael Schumacher’s Benetton-Ford was forced to retire).

Mark Osborne, Bonhams global head of motorsport, said, ‘Ayrton Senna was the most charismatic Grand Prix car driver of the modern era, and the MP4/8A was the car with which his team, McLaren, surpassed Ferrari as the most successful team in Formula 1 World Championship history. This car is Senna’s Monaco winner, it is a runner, and now it could be yours.’

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