Ayrton Senna’s Monaco-winning 1993 McLaren F1 car sells for £3.7m
Former F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone denies rumours that he placed the winning bid
The McLaren Formula 1 car in which world champion Ayrton Senna raced to victory at the 1993 Monaco Grand Prix has sold at auction for €4.2m (£3.7m).
The car, a Ford-powered McLaren MP4/8, went under the hammer at the annual Bonhams Monaco sale on Friday evening.
Following a lengthy bidding war, it was eventually sold to an unknown buyer, Reuters reports.
Rumours have circulated that former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone placed the winning bid on the white and red racer, but he told Reuters “that was not the case”.
The McLaren achieved one of the highest ever prices for an F1 car at auction, says Motorsport. Michael Schumacher’s 2001 championship-winning Ferrari is believed to hold the record for a modern F1 racer, selling for $7.5m (£5.5m) at an RM Sotheby’s auction in New York last year.
The McLaren had been acquired by private collector Aaron Hsu in 2006, before being sold to Bonhams a decade later. The car is still powered by the original Ford V8 engine that secured Senna five victories in 1993.
The Brazilian racing legend took his final win on the streets of Monaco behind the wheel of the newly sold MP4/8 almost 25 years ago to the day, The Daily Telegraph says.
Senna moved to Williams in 1994, the paper says, but was killed four races into the season when he crashed into a concrete barrier at the San Marino Grand Prix in Imola.