McLaren reveals Senna-inspired P1 GTR

Published: 20 December 2018

► McLaren P1 with tweaks
► Marks three decades since Senna’s 1988 win
► Engine has more power and there’s more downforce

McLaren finished a lowly sixth in this year’s Formula One championship, but that hasn’t stopped the Woking team’s road car division harking back to the brand’s more successful history. The brand’s MSO or McLaren Special Operation branch has been busy once again, and this time it’s delivered this incredible Marlboro-liveried P1 GTR.

The new customer-comissioned project marks 30 years since Ayrton Senna’s dominant 1988 championship, and therefore uses the Marlboro livery most associated with McLaren’s two-decade period of highly competitive machinery. The team has since won in West livery and later chromed-up Vodafone livery with Lewis Hamilton, but it’s the Marlboro colours that nod to the brand’s best years. After all, Lauda, Prost and Senna all won in Marlboro emblazoned machines. 

With that in mind, P1 GTR chassis 15 has been adorned with McLaren Rocket Red and Anniversary White, and the company says the whole thing took around 800 hours to create. Along with the new MP4/4 colours, there’s also Senna’s ‘12’ on the nose and 30th anniversary badges behind the side windows. 

But it’s not just a paint job

McLaren says the new car – christened Beco, which was Aryton’s nickname given to him by his parents – also has power increase over the standard car, along with a McLaren F1-style 24-carat gold heat shield and modified engine shrouds. The aero’s been tweaked too, with new gurney flaps, front dive planes, a new front splitter and barge boards meaning this P1 GTR can generate around 800kg of downforce when at speed.

Inside, you’ll find the usual mix of Alcantara and carbon-fibre,  one of Ayrton’s most popular phrases, lightweight seats and a thin red stripe to mark the car’s one-of nature. McLare  says the customer also commissioned a one-off Senna replica helmet to go with it, too.

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast