McLaren reveals one-off Senna-inspired livery for Monaco Grand Prix


McLaren is replacing its papaya design for the Monaco Grand Prix with a one-off yellow, blue and green livery that takes its inspiration from Ayrton Senna's helmet, 30 years after his death

2024 McLaren F1 car Senna livery main picture

McLaren will run a special Ayrton Senna livery in Monaco


McLaren will race in the yellow, green and blue colours of Ayrton Senna‘s helmet at this year’s Monaco Grand Prix, as the team celebrates the success of the six-time Monte Carlo winner, who produced one of F1‘s most extraordinary laps on the street circuit.

The striking effect of Senna’s helmet, which took its colours from the Brazilian flag, has been reproduced on this year’s McLaren MCL38.  Yellow replaces most of the papaya-coloured sections, with a blue strip across the nose and green section at the back, running into the rear wing.

Senna’s name is carried on the front and rear wings, and his ‘S’ logo has been applied to the halo. Inside the cockpit is one of his best-known quotes: “I have no idols, I admire work, dedication and competence”.

Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri have revealed Senna-inspired helmets and will wear similarly rebranded race suits for the Grand Prix, as will most team members as they look to build on victory in Miami and a close second place in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

2024 McLaren F1 car Senna livery rear

The one-off livery follows last weekend’s race when Formula 1 commemorated the three-time champion at the Imola circuit where he and Roland Ratzenberger lost their lives 30 years ago. Drivers stood on the grid in silence, then ran round the circuit, stopping at the two sections where the drivers crashed.

The Monaco livery is described as a celebration of Senna’s life and career, following the reflection and remembrance of Imola. Few circuits showcased the Brazilian’s talent better than Monte Carlo, where Senna almost recorded his debut win in his first F1 season, slicing into McLaren driver Alain Prost’s lead in an underpowered Toleman amid torrential rain. He looked on course for victory until a red flag stopped the race early.

The following year he did lead, after starting on pole, but retired after an engine failure for his Lotus-Renault. Senna’s first Monaco win came in 1987 and then, the mythical 1988 qualifying session which finished with Senna 1.4 seconds ahead of team-mate Alain Prost. “I felt that the circuit was no longer really a circuit, just a tunnel of Armco,” Senna told Motor Sport in 1990. “But in such a way that suddenly I realised that I was over the level that I considered… reasonable.

“There was no margin whatsoever, in anything… I didn’t fully understand that level – and I still don’t.”

The crushing advantage continued during the race until, on lap 67, he hit a barrier after a brief lapse in concentration and was out. From then on, he won every Monaco Grand Prix that he entered.

Senna rear wing on McLaren Monaco GP livery
Senna front wing on 2024 McLaren livery

“The team is proud to recognise and celebrate the extraordinary life and racing legacy of Ayrton Senna through this livery,” said McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown. “Senna remains revered and respected as Formula 1’s greatest icon, and McLaren’s most decorated driver. His impact on McLaren is enormous, not only through his racing record but also presence within the team, and now his legacy, so it’s an honour to race for him at his most successful circuit in his green, yellow and blue colours.”

Not all of the car has been changed for the Monaco Grand Prix, however. A team of six staff flew out to wrap the car in the yellow, white and blue scheme between the races at Imola and Monaco, but have left papaya strips on the aero deflectors above the front wheels — not an oversight, but to maintain consistency for the drivers who use them as cues to place the car — which has even greater importance at Monaco.

For the same reason, McLaren’s pitcrew will retain the same clothing and equipment.

This is the third time in four years that McLaren has run a one-off livery at Monaco, following on from its Gulf paint scheme in 2021 and last year’s orange, white and black design, which commemorated the team’s victories at Monaco, Indianapolis and Le Mans, and evoked memories of Senna’s Marlboro McLarens.