Hamilton to drive Senna’s McLaren

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Lewis Hamilton will drive the McLaren-Honda that Ayrton Senna won his first world championship in at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The Earl of March announced today that Hamilton will be making his third visit to the festival and will drive a 1988 McLaren-Honda MP4-4. Senna scored his first of three world championships in the car, and won races at Imola, Montreal, Detroit, Silverstone, Hockenheim, Hungaroring, Spa-Francorchamps and Suzuka.

It was the last car with a turbo engine to win the world championship, using a 1.5-litre Honda V6.

Irony fans will note that Alain Prost actually scored more points than Senna in 1988, but lost the championship under the “best 11 results count” rule. A similar scenario could happen again this year under the new “most wins” championship system.

Jenson Button will also attend the Festival this year, driving his BGP 001. Place your bets now on which of them will have the most points in the championship by the July 3rd, the first day of the three-day event.

Pictures from last year’s Festival of Speed

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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26 comments on “Hamilton to drive Senna’s McLaren”

  1. Maybe McLaren should try entering that car this year. It’ll probably be faster than the one they have, and it would probably fit the new technical regulations just fine. ;)

  2. I love seeing these old cars run – what a treat for Lewis to be driving his hero’s car.

    With the way cars are now so reliant on computer systems, I often wonder if 20 years from now teams will still have the correct software and hardware to be able to run them. What a shame if 20 years from now the world champion of the day will be unable to run Hamilton’s 2008 Championship Winning car.

    1. if jay leno can keep his stanley steamers running, i don’t see much problem for a 2008 car. both are specialized and rare, so parts must be fabricated, but all it takes is money.

  3. Keith,

    A little bit off topic. Bruno Sennas has tested a DTM car yesterday and today. HERE the release and HERE the video

  4. Hamilton continues to persist in his delusion of being Aryton Senna.

    1. You never been inspired by a hero? Probably not seeing that the best you can manage are snarky posts on blogs…

      1. halifaxf1fan
        7th June 2009, 2:43

        I may be snarky but I am also very accurate. Lewis Hamilton is delusional in his fantasy of being Senna.

  5. I’ll be really looking forward to see Hamilton driving the MP4-4. I would have loved to have been giving the chance to see the MP4-4 up close and in action with Senna driving it. Unfortunately this shall never happen.

    Does anyone know the scheduled times for this Goodwood Festival of speed?

  6. I wonder which is faster??

    The MP4-4 or the MP4-24????????

    1. The MP4-4 had significantly more power!

    2. The MP4-4 had significantly more power!

      …and couldn´t race under today´s engine regulation.
      But it is Impossible to say using Jerez test to compare, indeed. The track have another lay-out, but Ayrton took the pole in 1988 with: 1:24.067, against Heikki´s 1:17.946 today.

      The race report [click]

    3. True. Do they still have a no turbo’s clause – even low pressure turbo’s? Currently touted as the best step in petrol engine efficiency by the majors.
      Then again, no thanks – just because of the sound – or lack of it…

    4. If only he was allowed by McLaren to take the MP4-24 up the hill as well, then we could have a true comparison! Unfortunately the F1 teams never take their current cars to Goodwood, only the earlier cars.

  7. Eduardo Colombi
    19th March 2009, 21:58

    tell hamilton that if he crashes that car i’ll kill him… hahaha. just kind.

    it’s great to see those old cars driven again, some nostalgic feelings about those.

  8. This news is James Allen’s fantasy! He he probably working hard on the Senna / Hamilton comparisons as we speak. Argh, it will be like Monaco 2008 all over again :)

  9. Scott, I was thinking the same thing….LOL

  10. Is he going to finally be Senna-esq now?

  11. I wonder if he’ll wear Senna’s helmet design too.

  12. James Whiteley
    20th March 2009, 11:52

    “The MP4-4 had significantly more power!”

    Actually it didn’t! In 1988 the regulations only allowed a maximum of 2.5bar from the turbos. As a result, the MP4/4 actually only had about 680 bhp in race and just slightly more in quallifying. The 2008 McLaren would have had about 750 to 770 bhp. Still the MP4/4 is one of the most ellegant and beautiful racing cars ever.

    1. Ooh, thanks for that James, I was probably getting a bit too nostalgic there remembering the 1400BHP qualifying grenades of previous seasons!

    2. I suppose I should say “alleged 1400BHP”

  13. James Whiteley
    20th March 2009, 22:15

    Ha ha no problem. Yeah I think about 1986 was the year in which absolute power was at all time high, with the BMW powered Benettons having as you say nearly 1400 bhp in quallifying. Crazy but great times they were.

    1. Nostalgia indeed – I should know better as my most vivid memory of ’88 was Mansell driving the balls off his Williams with the ropey Judd V8 to finish an incredible 2nd. A transition year if ever there was one!

    2. At Silverstone!

  14. I suspect Lewis will have the biggest smile ever…

  15. The sri lankan
    30th June 2009, 12:14

    wouldnt this conflict with mercedes? the 4/4 is powered by a honda

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