Ayrton Senna’s Monaco Grand Prix-winning Formula One car will be sold at auction at the Bonhams Monaco sale this evening, almost exactly 25 years after he drove it to victory at the legendary city circuit.
The car, a 1993 McLaren-Ford MP4/8, chassis 6, is expected to fetch approximately €5m when it goes under the hammer at Villa La Vigie, a house on the Côte d’Azur overlooking Monte Carlo.
Senna’s win in Monaco with this car was his sixth at the famous city circuit. He beat Damon Hill in a Williams-Renault and Jean Alesi in a Ferrari, while Alain Prost – who would win that year’s Drivers’ championship – came fourth. This is despite a crash that injured the Brazilian’s thumb on the Thursday and a mechanical problem with the car’s active suspension on the Saturday. It was to be Senna’s last season with McLaren.
«Ayrton Senna was the most charismatic Grand Prix car driver of the modern era,» said Mark Osborne, head of motorsport at Bonhams. «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.»
Senna died less than 12 months after his historic Monaco victory in the McLaren-Ford MP4/8A, when his Williams collided with a barrier during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. He is remembered as one of the most important drivers in the history of motorsport, and the sale at auction of one of his best-known cars is expected to generate considerable interest.
«This is a truly special car; its ties to Senna and Monaco, and its Grand Prix success, are unique, making this one of the most exciting Formula One cars ever offered at auction.» said Mark.
«We are confident that it will inspire keen bidding from across the globe and we look forward to watching it cross the rostrum this evening.»
«For our first consignment of the Monaco sale to be one of such historic importance is a real coup,» said Poppy McKenzie Smith, motoring press officer at Bonhams.
«Any car raced by the legendary Aryton Senna is of huge significance to the motoring world, but this is another matter entirely. It is not only a Grand Prix-winning car, it is the one in which he broke the record for number of wins at Monaco and the final car which he raced for McLaren before joining the Williams team.
«An ex-Senna racing car in full running order is a true rarity, and one which we are thrilled to be offering at the very track where it made history.»
The lot is one of many in the Bonhams ‘Les Grandes Marques à Monaco’ sale, which begins at 6pm tonight.