Bonhams will offer the Monaco Grand Prix-winning 1993 McLaren-Ford MP4/8A at auction in May
It is a rare occurrence for any McLaren Formula 1 car to be offered at auction, but a Monaco GP-winning example driven by Ayrton Senna? Bonhams is to offer just such a car, the 1993 McLaren-Ford MP4/8A, at its Monaco sale on 11 May.
What makes it so special? The 1993 season didn’t turn out brilliantly for either McLaren or Ayrton Senna, who eventually took second place in the championship behind the increasingly dominant Williams-Renault FW15C of Alain Prost. It was however to be Senna’s final season behind the wheel of a McLaren, and it gave fans some legendary and highly-memorable races.
Although the MP4/8A was extremely advanced – featuring fully active suspension traction control and a semi-automatic transmission – it was hampered by a less-than-ideal customer Ford V8 engine. Honda, McLaren’s Previous engine partner, had pulled out of the sport, while the more powerful V10 Renault engine was reserved for Williams.
Despite the serious power deficiency, Senna managed to win five of 1993’s Championship races, including his sixth and final Monaco victory. Chassis number 6, which will be offered by Bonhams, is the car that won that race.
Chassis 6 was also raced at the Canadian, French, British, German, Belgian and Italian Grand Prix. It wasn’t the car in which Senna won at the legendary European GP at Donington however.
Bonhams have not provided an estimate for the McLaren, but ahead of the auction in May, it will be on display at Les Grandes Marques du Monde, Bonhams sale at the Grand Palais, Paris, on 6, 7 and 8 February.
Mark Osborne, Bonhams Global Head of Motorsport, commented: ‘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. We at Bonhams are both honoured and thrilled to be presenting one of the most significant Grand Prix cars of all time. It is his Monaco winner, it is a runner, and now it could be yours.’