SENNA F1 CARS GO UNDER THE HAMMER

AYRTON SENNA’S first F1 car, the Toleman TG184 and a 1993 McLaren Ford that swept him to many victories are being auctioned at Monaco on May 11.

Senna made his Grand Prix debut in 1984 behind the wheel of the recalcitrant turbocharged TolemanHart TG184 and came to prominence at that year's Monaco Grand Prix run in appalling conditions.

Senna scythed his way towards the front chasing down race leader Alain Prost’s more powerful McLaren-TAG Turbo MP4/2, lapping three seconds faster.

By the time Senna closed the gap to Prost to under seven seconds race director Jacky Ickx controversially ordered both the red flag and the chequered flag be shown simultaneously, bringing the race to a premature end, after only 31 laps. Prost took the win by 7.446 seconds.

With red and chequered flags waved at the end of lap 32, Prost slowed and hesitated just short of the finish line as Senna swept by, waving ecstatically, convinced that he'd just won his first World Championship Grand Prix and at Monaco, the most glamorous venue of them all. But the result was from the order on the previous lap.

Commentating that day was 1976 F1 world champion James Hunt who declared “I think we are watching the arrival of Ayrton Senna as a truly outstanding talent in Grand Prix racing...”

Hunt was right. Senna won three world titles with McLaren and the Monaco GP a record six times – in 1987 then for five consecutive years from 1989 to 1993. Senna also took the Toleman to third-place at the British and Portuguese Grands Prix.

Senna’s final race for McLaren was the Australian Grand Prix in 1993, which he won, before joining Williams the following year.

Fittingly his record-setting, final Monaco Grand Prixwinning, 1993 McLarenFord MP4/8A ‘Chassis 6’ Formula 1 car, now 25 years old in superb condition and running order, is also being offered at Bonhams Monaco auction.

Senna's McLaren-Ford MP4/8A proved to be one of the most competitive of all contemporary Grand Prix cars; Senna drove ‘Chassis 6’ in eight 1993 Grands Prix, to victory at Monaco and raced it in the Canadian, French, British, German, Belgian and Italian GPs. It then came to Australia as Senna’s backup car.