18 May, 2018

Senna's F1 Car Sold in Auction

The Historic Grand Prix of Monaco takes place this weekend (11 - 13th May). Now in its eleventh year, this event will feature an array of history, nostalgia, noise and speed.  

Stealing a part of the limelight from this massive event was the sale of an F1 car which drove the immortal Ayrton Senna to a record 6th Monaco win.

The McLaren MP4/8-6 eventually took Senna to second place in the championship behind his great rival, Alain Prost who won his fourth and final title.

The winning bidder was no other than former F1 supremo, Bernie Ecclestone. With an F1 car collection, the envy of many, the former CEO of F1 will be adorning his collection with this famous McLaren.

It’s not common for many of McLaren’s F1 cars to leave their base in Woking but a group of 10 cars were sold off with this one recently coming into auction after being privately held.

The Man Who Built an Empire

Bernie Ecclestone is credited as being one of sports biggest visionaries. Taking the sport to new markets around the world such as India, Russia and Korea, he was able to lead the sport into a new era.

Bernie Ecclestone's first taste of F1 came in 1957 when he bought the F1 team, Connaught. After experiencing the loss of two of his drivers, he took a hiatus from the sport.

Returning in 1972, Ecclestone took a keen interest in the management of the sport and set up the Formula One Constructors Association (FOCA) and slowly gained control of the sports management and finances. 

After securing the approval of all the teams, he secured global TV rights and set up the Formula One Promotions and Administration (FOPA). 

After a political war with FISA over the control of Formula 1, Ecclestone eventually set-up FOM (Formula One Management) who devised the Concorde Agreement which distributes the revenue generated by the sport.

Trivia - Bernie Ecclestone left F1 at the time of their sale to Liberty Media.

The McLaren MP4/8-6

The car itself is a marvel. In the famous red and white livery of McLaren, it was powered by a Ford engine which means less factory assistance is needed if you need to start the car.

Trivia - The car came with the same gearbox and engine used in the race!

This car was also used in perhaps one of the greatest laps ever seen in Formula 1 which occurred at Donnington Park.

After the lively bidding war, the car eventually sold for €3,650,000 (€4,197,500 after premiums).

F1's Immortal - Ayrton Senna

Making his debut in 1984, few would have suspected of his impending achievements.

Over the course of 10 years, Senna completed 162 races and won 65 pole positions, 41 races and 3 World Championships. His charismatic and emotional driving style earned him millions of fans around the world and the respect of his colleagues. 

Here we pick out our three favourite moments of his career:

1) Portuguese Grand Prix 1985 - Whilst driving for Lotus, he lapped the entire field apart from the car in second place! He won 7 pole positions that year.

2) Monaco 1988 - out-qualified his team-mate Alain Prost by almost 1.5 seconds.

“Suddenly I realised that I was no longer driving the car consciously.” - Ayrton Senna

3) Brazil 1991 - First home win - Known for keeping a flag tucked in his car, he was able to wave it around to his fans after victory in his homeland despite his car being stuck in sixth gear.

Trivia - His first car, the TG184 from when he drove for Toleman-Hart, sold at auction for €1,610,000. It was this car which finished second to Alain Prost in the 1984 Monaco Grand Prix.

Take a look at one of the greatest laps in the history of Formula 1. Known as "Lap of the Gods", it shows Senna's artistic skill as he battled from 5th to 1st in the space of one lap!

Final Words

Every superlative has been exhausted trying to describe Ayrton Senna but one thing is certain, his name will live on in history as one of F1's greatest ever drivers.

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Why not check out our article "Schumacher 2001 F1 Car Sells for $7.5m" then hit the read now button.

Ecclestone Buys Senna's 1993 McLaren F1 Car at Auction
Ecclestone Buys Senna's 1993 McLaren F1 Car at Auction
Ecclestone Buys Senna's 1993 McLaren F1 Car at Auction
Ecclestone Buys Senna's 1993 McLaren F1 Car at Auction
Ecclestone Buys Senna's 1993 McLaren F1 Car at Auction