A Senna fan’s McLaren P1 GTR becomes a tribute to the F1 champion

And the changes—inspired by the MP4/4—aren’t purely aesthetic
by Tom Harrison | Dec 21, 2018
PHOTO: TopGear.com

Ayrton Senna won the first of his three Formula 1 world championships in 1988, behind the wheel of a McLaren MP4/4. One especially devoted and especially wealthy Senna fan is honoring that anniversary with this—a P1 GTR (not an actual McLaren Senna, weirdly) customized by the McLaren Special Operations (MSO) division.

The P1 in question—chassis number 12—is finished in the same orange/white Marlboro livery as Senna’s MP4/4. There are Senna logos on the front splitter, air intakes, and doors, plus Brazilian flag motifs and the number 12, Senna’s 1988 race number, on the nose. The paintwork alone took some 800 hours to complete, with the whole project taking some three years to accomplish.

Inside there are more Senna logos, lots of alcantara, and a special inscription on the door sill that reads, “I am not designed to finish 2nd or 3rd...I am designed to win.” The customer—one of McLaren’s most long-standing—also commissioned a matching helmet, finished in the same livery as the car itself.

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This is not just a paint job, though. The GTR—which has been christened ‘Beco’ by the owner, after the nickname given to Senna by his parents—has a “unique engine specification,” apparently giving a “suitably pleasing” increase in power. It also gets a 24-kart gold heatshield, Lexan rear cover, and modified engine bay shrouds.

New aero gives around 800kg of downforce, says MSO. There are new front dive planes, a wider front splitter, a gurney flap, and new barge boards to better channel air along the side of the car. The rear wing has bigger end plates—which also make it look more like the MP4/4’s—and “inboard secondary wing elements” for even more downforce.

Far as Christmas presents (for yourself) go, this is gonna take some beating.

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NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.

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PHOTO: TopGear.com
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