The McLaren Formula One car driven to victory by Ayrton Senna at the 1993 Monaco Grand Prix has been purchased by ex-F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
The desirable McLaren MP4/8-6 was sold at the Bonhams auction in Monaco late last week for €4.19 million ($5.01 million). The famed Brazilian driver claimed his sixth race win through the streets of Monaco with the car and to this day, it remains largely untouched.
Unlike the McLaren-Honda F1 cars which Senna is most synonymous with driving, the MP4/8-6 uses a Cosworth V8 engine supplied by Ford. Although he tried valiantly, the engine was simply lagging behind the top contenders and Senna couldn’t defend his driver’s world championship.
At the time of the auction, the car still had its original Ford engine and transmission fitted.
The vast majority of the McLaren F1 cars used during the Senna era remain at McLaren’s base in Woking. The British company sold the car roughly a decade ago and, prior to the Bonhams auction, it was owned by car collector Aaron Hsu.
Chassis number MP4/8-6 also claimed fourth place finishes at Magny-Cours, Spa and Hockenheim and also finished fifth at Silverstone. Senna also raced MP4/8-6 in Montreal and Monza.
Despite selling for $5 million, this isn’t the most expensive modern F1 car sold at auction. In fact, Michael Schumacher’s 2001 Ferrari fetched $7.5 million at an RM Sotheby’s auction in November 2017.