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Senna’s iconic McLaren MP4/8A F1 car heads to auction in Monaco

Antony Ingram
24 Jan 2018

Senna won the 1993 Monaco Grand Prix in the car – and it’s at Monaco the car will be offered for sale

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Ayrton Senna and McLaren are indelibly linked – and not just because McLaren Automotive has named its next-generation after one of the greatest-ever Formula 1 drivers. Senna won all three of his World Championship titles with the British team, in 1988, 1990 and 1991, all wearing the iconic red and white livery of Marlboro cigarettes, defining an era in the sport.

The Brazilian failed to win the title in 1993 but the McLaren-Ford MP4/8A he drove during that season remains one of his best-recognised cars, and it’s being offered for sale at the Bonhams Monaco sale on 11 May this year.

> Full story on the McLaren Senna

The car, chassis number 6, was a significant one for Senna during the 1993 season. He drove the car in eight events that year following its debut at the Spanish Grand Prix that May, and took victory next time out on 23 May 1993 in Monaco – so it’s fitting that it’s in the principality that the car will cross the auction block, 25 years after the win. That victory was to be his sixth in Monaco – a record that stands to this day.

Senna raced chassis 6 again at the Canadian, French, British, German, Belgian and Italian GPs, and while those races were all dominated by Williams – with four victories going to Alain Prost and three to Damon Hill – after which it was relegated to the spare car. Senna finished second in the 1993 championship, bolstered by victories in Japan and Australia at the end of the season.

Ayrton’s efforts at the time were enough to put McLaren ahead of Ferrari as the most successful team in F1 history, and while Ferrari later retook that title (as of 2018, Ferrari has 229 wins to McLaren’s 182 – largely thanks to the efforts of Michael Schumacher in the early 2000s) it was undoubtedly a purple patch for the Woking-based constructor.

lists no estimate for the MP4/8A, but there’s every chance it could get close to the $7.5 million achieved by Michael Schumacher’s championship-winning 2001 Ferrari F2001 in late 2017.

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