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  3. McLaren pays tribute to Ayrton Senna with unique liveries inspired by his legacy

McLaren pays tribute to Ayrton Senna with unique liveries inspired by his legacy

27 May 2024
  • How does the Senna Sempre livery by McLaren Special Operations (MSO) reflect Ayrton Senna's legacy and his association with the Ayrton Senna Institute?

McLaren is marking 30 years of Ayrton Senna’s incredible legacy of performance with a powerful and emotive tribute that visually represents his vibrant personality and outlook on life, and his three Formula 1 World Championship titles and five Monaco Grand Prix victories with McLaren.

In parallel with a one-off livery for the MCL38 Formula 1 cars that will be driven by Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri at the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix, McLaren Automotive celebrates Ayrton Senna’s talent, racing achievements and more with the Senna Sempre livery; a unique, hand-painted tribute to Ayrton applied on a pre-production McLaren Senna from McLaren’s own heritage collection.

A Bold Tribute to Ayrton Senna’s Legacy and Racing Mastery

A Bold Tribute to Ayrton Senna’s Legacy and Racing Mastery

The Senna Sempre livery has been created as part of McLaren’s ongoing association with the Ayrton Senna Institute. It showcases not only the peerless paint mastery and craftmanship that McLaren Automotive is uniquely placed to deliver through McLaren Special Operations (MSO), but also distinctive visuals honouring the Formula 1 career of Ayrton Senna, his tenacious drive for perfection, Brazilian nationality and McLaren racing history – including on the streets of Monaco – through bright and bold paint colours and bespoke interior treatments.

“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 "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

The McLaren Senna, revealed in December 2017, is the most extreme McLaren road car ever made. Designed, engineered and developed as the ultimate track-oriented car for the road, it delivers total commitment to uncompromised performance.

In creating the Senna Sempre, McLaren transformed the visuals of a pre-production McLaren Senna that is part of its own heritage collection. Used for vehicle attribute validation of the high levels of performance and engagement in the McLaren Senna production models that followed, the car was also extensively captured on camera to support the original launch campaign and was one of the cars at the global media test drive, held at the Estoril Grand Prix circuit in June 2018. Retained by McLaren as a pre-production car, it has since featured in high-profile media performance tests and been part of landmark McLaren moments, including the royal opening of the McLaren Composites Technology Centre (MCTC) in Sheffield that was attended by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (now the Prince and Princess of Wales), and HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Bahrain. Inspired by Ayrton Senna’s legacy and philosophy, the McLaren Senna bears both the name of the legendary Formula 1 driver and champion and the Senna ‘Double S’ logo alongside the McLaren badge. The Double S also features 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. Paints selected for the Senna Sempre livery reflect the colours of the Brazilian flag, with bright yellow, green and blue tones brought together using a wash technique newly developed by MSO.

This technique allows the paints to blend into each other without creating any additional colours, while also evoking speed and the movement of a waving flag. This effect is also applied to the McLaren badge on the nose of the car. Green and white border lines running around the car’s glasshouse and the venting at the base of the windscreen are directly inspired by the detailing on Ayrton Senna’s iconic race helmet design.

On the panels shrouding the large air intakes on the side of the car, MSO’s paint technicians have created two distinct representations of Ayrton Senna. Applied by hand and requiring exceptional attention to detail, the dot matrix effect comes to life from a distance, depicting him on and off track. Contrasting with the bright gloss paint finishes, satin finish exposed visual carbon fibre panels feature on the car’s exterior and interior. Inside, this complements bespoke yellow Alcantara upholstery with green perforations and a white 12 o’clock marker on the car’s steering wheel. The sills of the black Alcantara upholstered doors are decorated with Ayrton Senna’s signature alongside his quotation explaining his ethic and philosophy; “I have no idols. I admire work, dedication and competence.” With a record six victories at the Monaco Grand Prix, Ayrton Senna’s name is synonymous with Formula 1’s flagship race. His remarkable performances on the iconic street circuit are represented by watermarks of the race numbers his Formula 1 cars wore for his five Monaco victories with McLaren, achieved in succession from 1989 to 1993.

McLaren’s Senna celebration on track sees the McLaren Formula 1 Team he won his three World Championships with honour his life and legacy with a bespoke one-off livery for the MCL38 race car. The vibrant yellow, green and blue colourway inspired by Ayrton Senna’s race helmet that features in the evocative Senna Sempre artwork, replaces 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.

Motor 283

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