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McLaren celebrates Ayrton Senna with a one-off car in time for the Monaco Gran Prix

Ayrton Senna is one of the world’s most famous racing drivers, and a national treasure from the land of yours truly. So now, to celebrate the 30 years of his incredible legacy and his 3 F1 World Championship titles, McLaren has unveiled a one-off, hand-painted tribute McLaren Senna from their own collection. It will sit beside the also unique livery applied to the MCL38 Formula 1 cars that will be driven by Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri at the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix. 

The Senna Sempre (“Sempre” meaning “Always”) livery has been created in association with the Ayrton Senna Institute. Through McLaren Special Operations (MSO)’s known paint mastery and craftsmanship, we see distinctive visuals honouring the Formula 1 career of Ayrton Senna, his drive for perfection, and McLaren racing history – including on the streets of Monaco – through bright and bold paint colours that make a nod to Ayrton’s Brazilian nationality.

“Ayrton Senna was born to race, and his passion for performance and perfection lives on at McLaren. The McLaren Senna bears his name and embodies his spirit – it is the ultimate road-going McLaren for focused track performance, and this masterfully detailed inspiration captures Ayrton’s infectious energy. Our collaboration with McLaren Racing to honour the Senna racing legacy 30 years on is a shared celebration of Ayrton’s unique racing abilities, and the Monaco street circuit he made his own is the perfect place to reflect on his incredible achievements.”
Michael Leiters, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive

“The team is proud to recognise and celebrate the extraordinary life and racing legacy of Ayrton Senna through this McLaren livery. Senna remains revered and respected as Formula 1’s greatest icon, and McLaren’s most decorated driver. His impact on McLaren is enormous, not only through his racing record but also presence within the team, and now his legacy, so it’s an honour to race for him at his most successful circuit in his green, yellow and blue colours.”
Zak Brown, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Racing

The McLaren Senna, revealed in 2017, is a McLaren flagship and one of their most extreme road going cars. Thought as the ultimate track-oriented car for the road, it was developed with total commitment to performance. In creating the Senna Sempre, McLaren transformed the visuals of a pre-production Senna that was already special by being part of its own heritage collection. Retained by McLaren as a pre-production model, it was featured in media performance tests and has been part of landmark moments for the brand. The car was also extensively captured on camera for the original launch campaign and was one of the cars at the global media test drives, held at the Estoril Grand Prix circuit in June 2018. 

Inspired by the Brazilian’s philosophy, the Senna Sempre bears both Ayrton’s name and the Senna ‘Double S’ logo alongside the McLaren badge. The Double S can also be seen within the intricate paintwork, as one of many individual visual tributes to Ayrton Senna that align with details on the bespoke MCL38 Formula 1 car; the logo being visible on the blue panel bridging the vents housed within the front clamshell, which complements the Senna script on the bright green rear wing.

The paints selected to be used in the livery reflect those seen on the Brazilian flag, with bright yellow, green and blue tones brought together using a wash technique newly developed by MSO that allows the paints to blend into each other without creating any additional colours, while also evoking the movement of a waving flag. This effect is also applied to the McLaren badge on the nose of the car.

“It’s an honour to recognise Ayrton through these liveries in collaboration with both McLaren Racing and McLaren Automotive. It’s a fantastic way to celebrate his life and legacy through his iconic colours on both cars. McLaren meant a lot to him, and together they achieved a lot of success, much of which he is still remembered for today by so many. It will be special to see it race the streets of Monaco, a circuit which gave him so much joy and many triumphs.”
Bianca Senna, Senna Brands

Another iconic detail about Senna was his race helmet design, and McLaren alluded to it using green and white lines that run around the car’s glasshouse and the venting at the base of the windscreen. MSO’s paint technicians also hand applied intricate, dot matrix effect details to the panels shrouding the large air intakes on the side of the car. They recreate two distinct representations of Ayrton Senna, both on and off track.

Contrasting with the bright gloss paint, exposed carbon fibre panels with a satin finish are featured on the car’s exterior and interior. Inside, this works to complement yellow Alcantara upholstery with green perforations and a white marker soon on the top of the steering wheel. The sills of the doors are decorated with Senna’s signature alongside a quote from a famous interview where he described his ethic and work philosophy: “I have no idols. I admire work, dedication and competence.”

A record holder at the Monaco Grand Prix with six victories, Ayrton’s name is synonymous with F1’s most prestigious race. His remarkable performance on the classic street circuit is represented by watermarks of the race numbers sported by his Formula 1 cars for his five Monaco victories with the brand, achieved in succession from 1989 to 1993.

McLaren’s Senna celebration on the streets of Monaco sees the Formula 1 Team he won his three World Championships with honour his life, legacy and contribution to motorsports with a bespoke one-off livery for the MCL38 race car. The yellow, green and blue colourway is inspired by the famous race helmet that many Brazilians (including myself) had miniatures of growing up, and features in the evocative Senna Sempre artwork, replacing the standard livery of the McLaren Formula 1 cars that will race in Monaco. 

The unique McLaren Senna with Senna Sempre livery will be on display in Monaco throughout the extended Grand Prix weekend.

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