Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

Global
Formula 1 Emilia Romagna GP

Vettel to drive Senna's 1993 McLaren in F1 Imola tribute

Sebastian Vettel will demo Ayrton Senna's 1993 McLaren at Imola's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as a tribute to the Brazilian Formula 1 icon.

Sebastian Vettel, McLaren-Ford MP4/8

Senna's life has been extensively celebrated this week on the 30th anniversary of the three-time world champion's fatal accident at the San Marino Grand Prix on 1 May 1994.

The Imola circuit is next up on the F1 calendar after the Miami Grand Prix and will inevitably be the scene of more tributes to the late Brazilian.

Four-time world champion Vettel, who owns Senna's 1993 McLaren MP4/8, has announced he will take the car out for a demo on race day in Imola as a tribute to one of his heroes.

“Ayrton Senna was not only a driver who I valued highly for being one of the best racing has ever seen, but also a man of great compassion,” Vettel said in an Instagram video.

“It’s been 30 years since his accident and I would like to pay tribute to Ayrton.

"I will be in Imola for the grand prix to drive his car, the McLaren MP4/8. I hope to see you on Sunday, May 19.”

Vettel, who is known for his great interest in the history of F1, acquired the MP/8 as well as Nigel Mansell's 1992 Williams FW14B, which he has displayed on several occasions since his F1 retirement in 2022.

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

The German, who is also an environmentalist and advocate for biodiversity, ran his legacy F1 cars at Goodwood's Festival of Speed last year, running carbon-neutral biofuels under the Race without a Trace banner. He previously also demoed the Williams at Silverstone.

“I’m a passionate racer and it’s important to me that we continue to enjoy driving iconic racing cars today and in the future, but that we do so in a responsible way," he said about the programme.

The MP4/8 was McLaren's first car since the departure of Honda as an engine supplier at the end of 1992. It featured an underpowered Ford V8 customer engine, but in the hands of Senna still managed to compete with Alain Prost's dominant Williams-Renault on several occasions.

Senna claimed five wins on his way to second place in the championship behind the Frenchman, with a legendary wet-weather victory at Donington's European Grand Prix hailed as one of F1's most iconic performances of all time.

Other than an appearance at the 2023 Race of Champions in Sweden, Vettel hasn't raced competitively since his F1 exit at the end of 2022.

In March he tested Porsche's Le Mans Hypercar at an endurance test in Aragon, completing over two grand prix distances in its Porsche 963 prototype.

The Porsche Penske team was left impressed by the 36-year-old's performances, but it is not yet clear if Vettel will one day race for the marque in the World Endurance Championship and its Le Mans 24 Hours centrepiece.

Be part of Motorsport community

Join the conversation
Previous article The dilemma faced by players in F1's "uncomfortably early" driver carousel
Next article Sainz: Ferrari with fewer "scares" key to 2024 F1 progress

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

Global