Ayrton Senna's cars: McLaren MP4-8, 2012

Senna’s F1 cars and more on show at Autosport International 2012


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The 2012 Autosport International show has opened today in Birmingham. Here’s a peek at some of the F1 cars on display.

The show features a special collection of cars driven by Ayrton Senna. It includes two Toleman cars from his first F1 season, the McLaren MP4-4 he won his first championship with, and a kart from his pre-F1 years.

If you’re heading to the show on Saturday and Sunday, several of the models in the F1 cars display will be replaced with last year’s cars.

Update: Here’s some more cars from Autosport International including F3 cars raced by Bernie Ecclestone and Stirling Moss.

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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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49 comments on “Senna’s F1 cars and more on show at Autosport International 2012”

  1. Love the MP4 looks

  2. Beautiful Mercedes.

    I still prefer the current liveries over the older ones.

    Annoyed with myself I forgot about this show, I told myself last year I was going to go.

  3. john (@johnf1fanatic)
    12th January 2012, 13:28

    Wish I could be there.

    1. same thing to me

  4. Elliot Horwood
    12th January 2012, 13:35

    Is there no McLaren MP4-26 at the show!?

    1. Says this at the bottom of the article…

      If you’re heading to the show on Saturday and Sunday, several of the models in the F1 cars display will be replaced with last year’s cars.

  5. It should be law that f1 cars look something like an MP4/8

    1. Amen! That’s why I have the MP4/8 as my avatar!

    2. @Taurus, Geemac

      Make that the MP4/4. By 1993 the nosecones started getting higher and with the MP4/8 the nosecones appear to have become more bent leaving an arch beneath, if you view from the side. It’s the same with Senna’s 1994 Williams. The rear tyres too got slimmer. The pre-1990 had the rawest designs and fat rear tyres. Nothing beats that for me. :)

      But if you ask me, the best looking racing cars of all time were the Lola and Reynard CART cars of the mid-1990s – low, sleek, wide and with those massive rear tyres.

      That’s just my personal view.

  6. I love to study how the front wing shapes have been changing over the course of the years. And MP4-8 is really cute!

  7. That Mercedes showcar is the best example of F1 randomness ever! A Honda RA108 with interim testing 2009-spec wings painted in Mercedes colours!

    1. Yeah, I thought the same!

      Also look at that Renault!

      1. I do hate it when they paint older cars in the current colours. The people who go to these shows are smart enough (read nerdy enough) to know what it really should look like!

      2. At least Look-At-Us-We’re-Lotus didn’t try and repaint Senna’s old 99T black and gold (with ‘Lada’ on it)… it’s just wrong at a show full of paying fans, many of them wanting to see close up how the cars have developed over the years, as Girts says.

        It’s just about ok to re-paint an old car for display somewhere like an airport. You never know, it might be used again in a race, like Super Aguri did!

    2. @GeeMac That’s not the first time they do it like that… In their own museum an exhibition of a dismantlend F1 car labelled as their first new era one (2010) is also some crazy mix of much more older Hondas and the Brawn GP.

      1. Yup, I’ve seen that. Again, they should know better than to try con us like that!!

    3. FlyingLobster27
      13th January 2012, 7:47

      Oh that’s what it is… If the mix of ages and liveries isn’t bad enough, they have the incredible dishonesty to label it a “W02” aswell.

      Great views of the older F1 cars though, and Senna’s kart… Gosh those things were less fancy-looking in those days!

  8. seeing the Mclaren Mp4-4 & Ferrari 312t two of the greatest F1 cars of all time is one of my dreams !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    i wish i could be there

  9. Is the MP4/8 the actual car that won the 1993 European GP? The single “splatted hedgehog” (for Senna’s Brazilian GP victory) would indicate it is – or just that someone has taken the trouble to add in a nice layer of extra detail.

    1. @timg I’m pretty sure it is – it’s the one from the Donington Collection.

  10. I didnt like to see the old renault, with the 2011 colors.
    It seems to be “fake”

    1. Yup, Fernando Alonso’s 2005 title-winning Renault should have been kept in the Mild Seven blue ‘n’ yellow livery. Too bad!

  11. It’s that time of year again where we get to play “Guess what car they’re passing off as the most recent one this time!” game.

    It’s hardly worth going to see them, is it? They’re never what they say they are. The worst is when F1 teams just find an old F3000 chassis lying in the bins round the back and decide to spray it up to look like the most current F1 car.

    1. Amen to that!

    2. Yeah but the worst thing is they pass it off as the latest version. Look at the Mercedes car, it says MGP W02 in front of it. How do they get away with it? It puts you off going.

  12. i have a question regarding this showroom are these F1 cars still belongs to their original manufactures or other persons ?

    1. The newer cars are probably still property of the teams but many of the older ones belong to private owners or museums. If you look at the sign behind the Lotus 91 you will see that Bernie Ecclestone is listed as the owner.

  13. omg about a week ago I found the scale model of that Yellow Lotus on the attic here. It now shinning again in my room. I had forgotten all about it.

    1. @Deurmat

      The discovery of the century! :)

  14. Those pics of Senna’s Kart is just amazing. Thanks for that!

  15. How have i not found this blog before!! Great Post :)

  16. Is it only me that finds it odd that the MP4-4 and MP4-8 have had the Marlboro branding removed but it hasn’t been from the M23? Is there a reason for it?

    1. I’m guessing Ron doesn’t own that one because he’s done it to M23’s in the past!


  17. The John Player Lotus had the greatest livery of any f1 car ever. Surprising to think it came about because of sponsership

  18. Great collection of cars, so much history and so much change.

  19. I wish teams wouldn’t spray their current liveries on old cars which they’re showing off.

  20. themagicofspeed (@)
    12th January 2012, 21:30

    Been there today and seen them all in the flesh. They are even more striking in real life than on these pictures. Seeing Senna’s cars, including the actual car he won Donnington ’93 with, is haunting. I have pictures of these and many more cars, including every single F1 car in attendance –

    Dissapointingly, Ferrari, McLaren, Sauber and HRT were missing from the show, but it was nevertheless very, very good. I suspect Ferrari and McLaren did not send cars becuase they are (rightly so) concentrating on their respective 2012 cars. It’s a good lads day out.. if you get my drift, as well… think female models and you get the picture.

    1. @themagicofspeed It seemed to me there was a space for one more car at the current F1 cars display, and given it was towards the front of the display I expect it would be a McLaren or a Ferrari – probably the former.

      1. Elliot Horwood
        14th January 2012, 21:21

        (not a knockoff honda earth 2007 car with current Mercedes livery like the “MGP002”)

  21. Argh! So annoyed I couldn’t go! Really hope I can make it there next year.

  22. Damn that ’87 Lotus has to be one of my favorite cars ever. Senna’s striking yellow ride is still absolutely beautiful. If only I could hear it roar in person. Great pictures.

  23. Attn all sydneysiders. This might be old news,but just in case its not. Theres some form of mclaren f1 car on oriordan st. I just flew past it in a taxi on the way to the airport. Didnt get a good look but i’d say it was 1994 to 2004 vintage. Its in the middle of all the dealers there. Will check it out when i’m back in town. Depending how long its been there its probably visible on street view.

  24. Here’s some more cars from Autosport International including F3 cars raced by Bernie Ecclestone and Stirling Moss.

  25. I have to say that of all the current liveries the STR is my favourite, excepting the 2010 Renault yellow livery. That dark blue, gold nose and red highlights looks way better than the somewhat bland RBR livery. Plus I always liked the shark fin… shame it got banned. In my mind the 2009 cars with the clean aero, shark fins and shorter length (when refuelling was still allowed) are the best looking of the last 5-10 years. But how good do Senna’s cars look in those pics!

  26. Having just returned from the show, I can confirm that the MP4-26 is indeed on the F1 grid!
    Also, who knows what the car the ‘RB7’ actually is- anybody notice the shark fin?!

  27. Elliot Horwood
    14th January 2012, 21:08

    Just got back from the show – was brilliant! :D Loved seeing all the cars, NOT the FAKE F1 cars with painted livary e.g the MGP002 or something like that, but enjoyed it. even got to shake Jake Humphrey and David Coulthards hand!

  28. It doesn’t bother me that much that teams send showcars along to these things, I can understand why it might not be possible or desirable to have the very latest model on display at a public event, especially when other teams are present as well.

    However, the thing that’s annoyed me about the photos above is that they label the show cars as the 2011 designs, and hope no-one will notice that they’ve just painted a new livery on a car that in some cases is clearly pre-2009, and doesn’t look anything like the car it’s meant to represent.

    I wish they’d just be honest and either say what the car actually is or just label it as a showcar, instead of insulting fans’ intelligence.

    1. Agreed! I don’t even mind when wings are chopped and changed too much. However, when teams try to pass off, for example, a Red Bull with a shark fin that obviously has no DRS (except for the button on the steering wheel!) as last years model, I find it extremely insulting. Respect your fans and be honest!

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