McLaren P1 GTR “Marlboro” : a great toy in the honor of Senna

Tuesday, february 26, 2019

The F1 world championship of 1988 was really special: it was the last season for turbo-compressed motors (this style had been launched by Renault and its RS01), full domination by Mclaren, a pitiless duel between its two star pilotes Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost and then the victory of the Brazilian with theoretically less points.This was Ayrton Senna’s first title out of 3 before his death in 1994. It was to celebrate this great champion and this first crown that a McLaren client placed an order to the MSO departement for a P1 GTR delivered in the Marlboro livery fateful to Ayrton’s 1988.

The McLaren MP4/4 with a Honda motor number 12, Ayrton Sennas car for the 1988 saison.

With some means one can do just about what one wants, especially at Mclaren. Thus the MSO (McLaren Special Operations) was created to respond to the specific requests of rich clients. It is an easy guess that the person who ordered a P1 GTR Marlboro was fanatical about the Brazilian pilot and had a lot of money. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first prize won by his idol, he ordered a special P1 McLaren from MSO.

1988, an unusual  Formule 1 season

This championship had a specific flavor. Senna was the F1s rising star while his new teammate at McLaren was considered a safe bet. The English company thus had two promising pilots and a new engine manufacturer, Honda. This obviously made the MP4/4 ultra-successful. These two pilots ruled without sharing any of the limelight, not even a crumb for the other competitors. Only Gerhard Berger with Ferrari was successful in winning a prize at Monza while Senna won 8 victories and 3 second places versus 7 victories and 4 second places for Prost.

The rules and regulations at that time only took into consideration the 11 best results on the 16 races of the season in order to give priority to the entertainment aspect, making pilots play hard to win without worrying about a mechanical accident that would be too punishing. Without this, Prost would have been world champion, in 1988. With 105 points in total,he beat Senna and his 94 points on the 16 races. But by limiting only to the 11 best results, Senna totalled 90 points, against 87 points for Prost. The Brazilian won, and all the while the rivalry Prost/Senna became a permanent fixture in the sidelines.

Hard to imagine a similar Formule 1 season today, with as much drama, the presence of two huge champions and all the rivalry that came from that, especially in the same stable. This is without a doubt why our rich client ordered this very special P1 GTR.

An exceptional McLaren P1 GTR McLaren for the 30th year anniversary of Sennas first win

We can feel that his heart beat for Ayrton senna since the door had the pilots number 12, a Brazilian flag on its sides and the laurel wreath in the back of the lateral windshield. All this is a reminder of that years world champion title. And the icing on the cake, the new owner got a personalized helmet of the same caliber. It is in the Marlboro robe of red and white colors, even if the brand does not appear: in its stead the barcode used at the time to be able to race in spite of the tabac regulations in certain countries.

Nicknamed Beco (just like Senna by his parents), the car is also very personalised, such as with its I-kid-you-not 24 carat gold thermic motor protection !

A P1 GTR already, thanks to its V8 biturbo 7,8 coupled with an electric engine, has a phenomenal power of 1000 horsepower while weighing only 1300 kilos. The Beco was improved but we were not told by how much… the client seems rather satisfied with these improvements. The aerodynamic kit is also unique which gives even more push to the car. Of course, the inside is also personalized.

The price of such a beast is shrouded in mystery but we can easily imagine it being out of this world, especially considering that a P1 GTR can only roll on a race track. A very very expensive toy but which once again proves the passion that a car can create, including for adults. What changes with age is just the size and cost of ones toys.

Caractéristiques techniques


McLaren P1 GTR

2015 - 2018


Engine V8 M838T at 90° + electric engine
Cubic capacity 3 799 cc
Alimentation Electric injection, Biturbo
Engine power 985 ch (combined power)
Engine torque nc


Length 4 588 mm
Width 1 946 mm
Height 1 188 mm
Weight 1 300 kg


Drive wheels Rwd
Gearbox 7 speed automatic with dual clutch


Maximum speed 329 km/h
0-100 km/h 2,8 s
Total production 58 units


Average price (LVA) nc

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