WITH MONEY and Monaco going hand in hand, on the eve of Australian ace Daniel Ricciardo's success in the principality's Grand Prix Bonhams auctioned a unique car that had been driven by a unique driver with unrivalled success at Monaco. The 1993 McLaren-Cosworth MP4/8A sold for a staggering $6.5 million.
The McLaren was driven by Ayrton Senna to his recordbreaking sixth and final Monaco GP win and was billed as the most historically important F1 McLaren ever offered.
The car has chassis number MP4/8-6, gearbox #510 and engine #2, exactly as used by Senna to capture his final Monaco crown. It was auctioned in fully functional condition, ready to be driven, if required, by its new owner.
After the Monaco race Senna said, “Monte Carlo is special, and always has been for me, from my very first race here with Toleman."
The 1993 season would prove to be the brilliant Brazilian's last with McLaren after six seasons, with 41 GP wins and three Formula 1 championships in 1988, 1990 and 1991.
After Honda withdrew in 1992, McLaren struck a lastminute deal to run Cosworth engines – Senna was actually sceptical about their competitiveness, especially against his former teammate and foe, Alain Prost, by then with Williams Renault.
While being paid a rumoured $1 million per race, the sublimely talented Senna went on to take the chequered flag at the Japanese GP as well as his final F1 victory at the Australian GP in Adelaide.
For Adelaide chassis MP4/8-6 was used as his backup, only taking to the track in practice.