Greg Stuart 21 March 2012

Senna’s first Formula One car for sale

On the very day Ayrton would have been 52 years old, look what’s come up for auction...

Well another week, and another Formula 1 car up for sale. But this one's definitely a little bit special.

There's been Senna fever in the air for quite some time now, brought on by Asif Kapadia's excellent Senna movie and Jeremy's own tribute in series 15 to the man most often cited as the greatest F1 driver ever.

And on the day when Senna would have celebrated his 52nd birthday, Silverstone Auctions have announced that his Toleman, which he drove in the 1984 season, will be sold in their spring sale. 

The car's most famous outing, and where the world got their first proper glimpse of Senna's incredible talent, was at the rain-sodden 1984 Monaco Grand Prix.

As the great and the good of the established F1 paddock were slithering into a solid variety of Monegasque armco, the young Brazilian driver lapped the track in his inferior machine as if his tyres were wrapped in beach towels. He would have won the race had a technicality not gifted the victory to Senna's nemesis-to-be Alain Prost.

"Whilst he [Senna] will have every reason and justification for being very upset," purred the BBC's commentator (and former TG Campaign for Real Racing Drivers winner) James Hunt at the time, "he's got a big future."

And indeed he did. In the next ten years, Senna racked up 41 wins and three world championships, going on to drive for Lotus, Williams and, most famously, for McLaren. He was tragically killed after a fatal accident during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix at Imola.

As Formula 1 cars go, then, Senna's Toleman, whilst by no means the greatest, is surely one of the most significant for its heralding in of one of the most sublime talents the sport has ever seen.

And whilst we will all undoubtedly envy, we must also doff our caps to and admire, the inevitably very, very rich person who has the highest bid when the gavel comes down.

Check out all the details at the Silverstone Auctions site here

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