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This Senna Has A Legacy Painted On It's Body

Thirty years after the world mourned the passing of Formula 1 legend Ayrton Senna, McLaren is paying a powerful and emotive tribute to the driver who left an indelible mark on the sport and the automotive world. This tribute goes beyond mere words; it's a visual representation of Senna's vibrant personality, relentless pursuit of perfection, and his incredible achievements on the track, particularly with McLaren.

A Collaboration Steeped in History

McLaren's homage takes two distinct forms. First, a one-off livery adorns the MCL38 Formula 1 cars driven by Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri at the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix. This special livery mirrors the iconic colors of Senna's helmet, a symbol instantly recognizable to racing enthusiasts worldwide.

But the true centerpiece of this tribute is the "Senna Sempre" livery, meticulously hand-painted on a pre-production McLaren Senna from McLaren's heritage collection. "Senna Sempre" translates to "Senna Forever," a fitting title for a creation that celebrates the driver's enduring legacy.

This project signifies a deeper collaboration – between McLaren Automotive and the Ayrton Senna Institute. It's not just about showcasing masterful paintwork; it's about honoring Senna's career, his unwavering drive, and his Brazilian heritage.

The Car: A Masterpiece Honoring a Master

The McLaren Senna, unveiled in 2017, stands as the most extreme road car ever built by McLaren. Designed with pure track performance in mind, it offers an unparalleled commitment to speed and handling.

The "Senna Sempre" livery transforms this pre-production model into a rolling work of art. The car's visuals pay homage to Senna's legacy and philosophy, incorporating the legendary driver's name, the Senna "Double S" logo, and details that mirror the bespoke MCL38 livery.

The vibrant colors – yellow, green, and blue – are a direct nod to the Brazilian flag. MSO, McLaren's in-house customization arm, developed a new "wash technique" to achieve a seamless blend of these colors, evoking the image of a waving flag and the dynamism of speed.

Green and white border lines around the cockpit and vents are directly inspired by Senna's iconic race helmet design. The side air intakes showcase a unique tribute – hand-painted portraits of Senna, both on and off the track, rendered in a dot matrix effect.

A Blend of Beauty and Performance

The car's exterior boasts a striking contrast between the bright gloss paint and exposed carbon fiber panels with a satin finish. This theme continues inside, where bespoke yellow Alcantara upholstery with green perforations complements the exposed carbon fiber and a white 12 o'clock marker on the steering wheel.

The door sills, upholstered in black Alcantara, feature Ayrton Senna's signature alongside a quote that embodies his work ethic and philosophy: "I have no idols. I admire work, dedication and competence." With a record-breaking six victories at the Monaco Grand Prix, Ayrton Senna's name is forever linked to this prestigious race. The "Senna Sempre" livery pays tribute to these triumphs with watermarked race numbers – a nod to the five consecutive victories Senna secured for McLaren at Monaco from 1989 to 1993.

Throughout the extended Monaco Grand Prix weekend, this unique McLaren Senna will be on display, a testament to Ayrton Senna's enduring legacy. It's a fitting tribute from a team that will forever cherish the memory of a driver who embodied the very essence of racing excellence.

TopGear Magazine June 2024