AYRTON Senna, arguably Formula 1’s greatest driver of all time, has been immortalised in a 160kg life-size bronze statue unveiled at the Autosport International Show in Birmingham.
The incredibly detailed sculpture was created by UK artist Paul Oz, and depicts the three-time F1 champion cornering in his cramped cockpit through the famous Eau Rouge sequence at Spa-Francorchamps.
The 12-month-long process to complete the project involved hundreds of images which were then turned into a 3D clay model. Details such as sponsorship logos on his suit were immaculately etched into the model before wax casts were made and sent to be filled in a foundry.
Three bronze models were cast, with one sent to the McLaren Technology Centre, one donated to Senna’s Brazilian-based charity and the third is for sale.
The price? An eye-watering £199,000 ($354,000). But before you wince, it’s for a good cause. Senna’s charity will receive 10 percent of the sale to help in their ongoing mission to create opportunities for young Brazilians.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of Senna’s death at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix and the statue was created with respect to Senna’s five wins at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Speaking of the unusually-posed statue, the artist said “it’s a position alien to most and even many F1 fans don’t appreciate how extreme it is, even back in the 1990s.”
“If there’s one thing that I am happiest about with this statue it’s the dynamic and balance of the position.”
The artist himself is an F1 memorabilia collector and donned his own replica Senna helmet and race suit to pose in research photos for the project.
If you can’t justify the $354,000 price tag for the life-size version, an additional 41 statues (representing 41 race wins) are being created that are roughly one metre long – at a price of £49,000 ($87,000).
Some might wonder why the artist chose Eau Rouge in particular for the driving position of the statue. Well, we’ll let Ayrton Senna himself answer that question.
“If you take away Eau Rouge, you take away the reason why I do this,” he said in 1993.
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