Motorsport legends

One-off McLaren celebrates Senna's first F1 title

Red and white livery recalls the famous Marlboro paint scheme of championship-winning F1 car

22 December 2018 - 10:57 By Motoring Reporter
A one-off McLaren P1 GTR car was commissioned to commemorate Ayrton Senna's first F1 title in 1988. Picture: Supplied
A one-off McLaren P1 GTR car was commissioned to commemorate Ayrton Senna's first F1 title in 1988. Picture: Supplied

Ayrton Senna fans will fondly remember the red and white McLaren with which the Brazilian won his three Formula One titles, and one customer has now commissioned a special road car to pay tribute to those feats.

The British firm's custom-car division, McLaren Special Operations (MSO), has built a unique new McLaren P1 GTR to mark the 30th anniversary of the late driver's maiden F1 world championship. The car is decked out in the iconic colours of then-sponsor Marlboro - synonymous with McLaren for more than 20 years – as they appeared on the MP4/4 that propelled him to the first of his three titles.

The one-off car was commissioned by an unnamed McLaren customer who was inspired by Senna from a young age and wanted to create a tribute that echoed the Brazilian’s trademark perfectionism. Working in close collaboration with the MSO team over the past three years the owner oversaw every detail of the project, resulting in a car worthy of Senna himself.

The core colours are the famous McLaren Rocket Red and Anniversary White that echo those of the Marlboro brand. Detailing includes the Senna brand trademark on the front splitter as well as in front of the air intake and each door, with the ‘Senna’ script and ‘Driven to Perfection’ slogan on the doors and intake.

Aero additions give this very special McLaren extra downforce. Picture: SUPPLIED
Aero additions give this very special McLaren extra downforce. Picture: SUPPLIED

The doors also show the Brazilian flag and the bar code used in lieu of Marlboro script when required by advertising restrictions. More than 800 hours were spent on painting, and other cosmetic points include Senna’s 1988 race number ‘12’ on the nose, bespoke 30th anniversary laurels behind the side windows and discreet branding acknowledging a range of McLaren technical partners past and present.

Christened ‘Beco’ by the owner – with the blessing of the Senna family, in honour of the nickname given to Ayrton by his parents – this special car has a unique engine specification complemented by a 24ct gold heatshield, Lexan rear cover and modified engine bay shrouds. Working in combination with the electric motor in the McLaren P1 GTR’s hybrid powertrain, the result is – according to the owner – a ‘suitably pleasing’ increase in power.

‘Beco’ has also undergone several external modifications to make the most of the increased performance, including new aero features that increase downforce.There are some unique interior touches including a reproduction of Senna’s signature on the carbon fibre chassis sill accompanying one of his quotes, and Senna branding on the steering wheel and passenger dash panel. MSO has also created a bespoke crash helmet to complement the livery of the car.

The price of this special one-off McLaren hasn't been revealed, but customers with very deep wallets are able to commission cars from MSO with an almost limitless range of custom additions.

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