McLaren Senna Sempre Revealed as a Reminder That Racing Greats Do Last Forever

McLaren Senna Sempre 13 photos
Photo: McLaren
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It's probably hard to believe, but three decades have already passed since one of the world's most important racing drivers, Ayrton Senna da Silva, left our world. As an icon of his field, the Brazilian-born is still honored by those whose lives he touched and shaped, so expect a number of special tributes to be announced throughout the year.
We've already got a taste of that last week, when a company that is not involved in Formula 1 (and, for that matter, isn't even making cars), released a special version of one of its products. It’s Ducati I'm talking about, the Italian bike maker that has been the driver's favorite two-wheeled brand, which announced the release of a very special version of the Monster motorcycle.

Senna is one of the most successful drivers in Formula 1 history, and his name will forever be linked to one of the planet's most prestigious carmakers. The driver managed to snatch the title in F1 no less than three times (in 1988, 1990, and 1991), all of them while driving for British carmaker McLaren. And he probably would not have stopped there, if it weren't for the tragic accident that took his life in 1994, during the San Marino Grand Prix.

Because of this incredible tie McLaren has with the racing legend, it constantly honors him through special releases, and it even launched over the past decade a special car wearing the Brazilian's name. And it is that special car that this year will mark Senna's passing and celebrate his legacy with a unique version.

The McLaren Senna meant to do that remains the same spectacular track beast and the most extreme McLaren road car ever underneath. At its heart lies a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V4 that delivers a bone-crunching 789 horsepower and 800 Nm of torque, a powerplant that allows the racer to hit 124 mph (200 kph) from a perfect standstill over a distance of just 100 meters.

The McLaren wheeled monster that was chosen to celebrate the Senna legacy is a pre-production model the company itself owns, gifted with a special livery applied by hand. Just like we've seen on the Ducati Monster of last week, the colors chosen for the ride are green, yellow, and blue, which were the colors the race driver wore on his helmet, and at the same time are the colors of the Brazilian flag.

McLaren Senna Sempre
Photo: McLaren
The livery is called Senna Sempre, and was placed over the body of the Senna prototype the carmaker used to validate the vehicle's performance levels. It is one of the cars used by McLaren during the model's original launch campaign, and was present during the Senna presentation at the Estoril Grand Prix circuit in June 2018.

The paint job comes as a collection of elements meant to make the vehicle even more special than it already is. The three colors mentioned above play an intricate game on the car's body, with blue and green most prominent on the front and rear of the vehicle, and yellow generously displayed on the sides and as accent borders evertywhere else.

The front end and the sides of the rear wing are where the company decided to place Senna's double S logo, while his name is prominently displayed on the top of the wing.

We're told all the colors were applied using a wash technique, something that allows McLaren artisans to blend colors into one another without this mix resulting in a different color altogether. On top of it all, this method also allows the design to look not unlike a waving flag, which is exactly what McLaren was after.

The venting the car features at the base of the windscreen was designed in such a way as to remind people of Senna's helmet design, but that's not what catches the eye the most. The centerpiece of this visual exercise is, if you ask me, the two representations of Ayrton Senna himself.

These can be seen on the panels that shield the large air intakes and have been made in a dot matrix effect that, when looked at from afar, shows the race drives on and off the track.

McLaren Senna Sempre
Photo: McLaren
McLaren tweaked the interior of the vehicle as well, and installed yellow Alcantara upholstery with green perforations on the seats. The doors, on the other hand, come in black Alcantara, and they feature Senna's signature but also one of his favorite phrases: "I have no idols. I admire work, dedication and competence."

McLaren's tribute to Senna does not stop at this special livery placed over this particular car. This coming weekend is when the Monaco Grand Prix will take place, and given how that's a race Senna won no less than six times (a record, five of them while racing for Mclaren), the carmaker's F1 team will honor the legend as well.

The MCL38 cars that will be driven by Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri will too sport a special livery centered around the same three colors instead of their usual design. For fans attending the race, the McLaren Senna Sempre will be on display to enjoy.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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