Ayrton Senna’s Monaco Grand Prix-winning, 1993 McLaren-Ford MP4/8A Formula 1 racing single-seater will go under the hammer at Bonhams’ Monaco sale on 11 May and will be on view at Le Grand Palais, Paris, on 6-8 February.
The 1993 season was Senna’s last with McLaren. The team had just ended its long and successful partnership with Honda for engine supply, and would link up with Peugeot in a new Formula 1 racing partnership from 1994.
For the 1993 season, a last-minute agreement was struck with Ford to run their Cosworth-built ‘HB’ V8 engines on loan.
Senna was initially sceptical that the Ford engines would be able to compete with the dominant Renault V10s as deployed by the Williams team, led by the Brazilian’s former team-mate and arch rival Alain Prost.
The Brazilian driver elected to remain with McLaren on a race-by-race basis, in return for a rumoured $1M fee for every start.
However, the team’s latest McLaren-Ford MP4/8A model – like chassis ‘6’ now being offered by Bonhams – demonstrated such technological and mechanical sophistication that by season’s end, it was one of the most competitive of all contemporary Grand Prix car designs.
Master of Monaco
Senna drove this particular car in eight of the 1993 season’s Formula 1 World Championship-qualifying Grand Prix races, including his victory at Monaco.
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 particular chassis, number 6, cemented Senna’s legend as The Master of Monaco.’
The car will be on view at Les Grandes Marques du Monde, Bonhams sale at the Grand Palais, Paris, on 6, 7 and 8 February.