Props, sets, costumes and other production paraphernalia – Part 5

When is a prop not a prop? When it started life as a state-of-the-art racing car. In part 5 of our props, sets, costumes and other production paraphernalia – we take a quick look at the McLaren MP4/4 – an F1 car that’s set to become the leading-lady in one of the most hotly anticipated documentary films of 2011: Senna

Senna is a feature-length movie documentary (for general release on 3rd June) being hailed by critics as a truly worthy tribute to the 3 time F1 champion. The McLaren MP4-4 is the car that took Senna to his first formula 1 championship, winning 8 races in 1988 (In total the MP4/4  won 15 out of 16 races in 1988 – the remaining 7 at the hand of team mate Alain Prost).

6 cars were built – but leading-lady icon status surely gets dealt to the chassis that carried Senna to pole position in Monaco – a staggering 1.5s quicker than his team mate Alain Prost in an identical car.  But, as with all the best scripts it was to be a bittersweet relationship, with Senna crashing out of a commanding lead in the barriers at Portiers corner just before the entrance to the tunnel.

All 6 chassis survive.  Here’s a brilliant video of current McLaren F1 drivers – Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button – having a wander round what (to F1 fans) is probably the best storage facility in the world.

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