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Ex-F1 driver wrecks ultra-rare $2.7m McLaren

Stephen Ottley

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Wednesday 29th July, 2020 - 4:45pm

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The McLaren Senna LM is a limited edition special with few official details

Adrian Sutil Formula 1 career never achieved the same heights as Ayrton Senna, but the German was able to afford the latest hypercar named in the Brazilian’s honour. Unfortunately, Sutil and Senna will now likely be synonymous after he crashed his $2.7m supercar in the south of France this week.

According to reports from Europe and pictures on social media, Sutil was involved in a road accident that resulted in his extremely rare McLaren Senna LM being heavily damaged. It’s unclear how the accident happened or even if Sutil was behind the wheel, although images appear to show the German sitting beside the wrecked British supercar.

Sutil started 128 grand prix with mid-field teams Midland, Spyker, Force India and Sauber between 2006 and 2014. He was named Williams reserve driver for the 2015 season but was never needed by the team and has not raced in F1 since.

A photograph from the McLaren Monaco Instagram account suggests that Sutil took delivery of his Senna LM in January this year. While it’s likely to be an expensive job, given the rare nature of the Senna LM it’s highly likely the wreck will be sent back to McLaren HQ to be repaired.

The Senna LM is an extremely limited edition model that has been produced in almost complete secrecy by the brand; it’s believed less than 30 have been made. McLaren has never issued any official information or technical details about the car.

However, some details have leaked out with a reasonably in-depth video emerging from McLaren Auckland in June. That revealed that the car is the product of McLaren Special Operations (MSO), the company’s in-house customisation department.

The Senna LM, a tribute to the brand’s Le Mans success in 1995, gets more power from the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, although no specific output figures have been confirmed.

We also know the exhaust system has been redesigned specifically for this model, with the traditional Senna three-tailpipes replaced by four tips. The exhaust is also gold-plated which is a nod to the same treatment in the race-spec F1 LM.

Another new element for the Senna LM are the wheels, which are a tribute to the original’s five-spoke Speedline rims and finished in the same grey as the original F1 GTR that raced at Le Mans. The set-up is complete with matching brake calipers and different coloured centre caps – blue on the driver’s side and red on the passenger’s side.

To visually differentiate the Senna LM from the ‘regular’ Senna, there are the new louvered front and rear wheel arches and body-coloured headlight surrounds as well as new doors; that no longer have the lower window.

Both the New Zealand example and Sutil’s wrecked Senna LM have been finished in the company’s classic racing hue – Papaya Orange.

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