F1 memorabilia sale: 1988 Ayrton Senna helmet fetches $100k

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A signed Ayrton Senna helmet, as used in his championship-winning 1988 season was the most expensive lot, selling for $102,000, in an RM Sotheby’s online auction

1988 Ayrton Senna helmet sold for $102,000 auction in December 2019

Photo: RM Sotheby’s

A racing helmet worn by Ayrton Senna in his 1988 championship year has sold at auction for more than $100,000 (£76,000)

The helmet, signed by the Brazilian, shows the signs of race use, with stone chips on the familiar green and black design; the Marlboro sponsor logo has been blurred by the auctioneer.

Its final $102,000 price was twice the pre-auction $50,000 estimate, making it the most expensive lot in RM Sotheby’s online F1 memorabilia auction, but short of the €162,000 (£142,000) paid for a 1990 helmet in a Paris auction earlier this year.

The helmet’s chipped paintwork is more likely to have been caused when following backmarkers than fighting rivals, as the 1988 season was dominated by McLaren team-mates Senna and Alain Prost, who won 15 of the season’s 16 races.

A brilliant comeback by Senna, after stalling on the grid in Japan, secured the Brazilian his first F1 World Championship.

The majority of Senna’s 1988 racewear was available in the sale, including a racing suit sold for $36,000 (£27,300) and a set of signed racing gloves from the 1988 season, signed by Senna, which fetched $24,000 (£18,200).

An unworn Senna racing suit from the tragic 1994 season was sold for $12,600 (£9,500).

Ferrari F2002 engine sold for $93,600 in a December 2019 auction

Ferrari F2002 V10 engine sold for $93,600 Photo: RM Sotheby’s


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Bidding took place solely online for lots which included Formula 1 and sports car memorabilia.

A Michael Schumacher helmet from 2001 went for $48,000 (£36,500) and Mika Häkkinen’s 2001 McLaren helmet sold for $14,400 (£11,000).

A V10 genuine engine that powered the Ferrari F2002  in the 2002 F1 season was bought for $93,600 (£71,000), while the nosecone from Häkkinen’s 2001 McLaren MP4-16 fetched $8,400 (£6,400).

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