Vettel to drive Senna's McLaren MP4/8 in tribute to icon at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix weekend

SUZUKA, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 20: Sebastian Vettel of Germany during previews ahead of the F1 Grand

Sebastian Vettel will drive Ayrton Senna’s McLaren MP4/8 at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix weekend, in a fitting tribute to the late F1 icon.

The Brazilian triple world champion’s life was tragically cut short by a fatal accident at Imola 30 years ago today, aged just 34, but his legacy continues to live on as does the way he dazzled F1 during his time in the sport.

READ MORE: Who was Ayrton Senna and why is he regarded as one of F1’s greatest drivers?

And Vettel – himself a four-time F1 world champion with Red Bull – will be in attendance at Imola for this year’s Grand Prix, taking place on May 17-19, to help pay his respects to a driver he also admired.

The German will get behind the wheel of the MP4/8, the car McLaren competed with in the 1993 championship, which was to be Senna’s last with the team before his move to Williams for the following season.

McLaren MP4-8, Ayrton Senna 1993 European Grand Prix at Donington. Creator: Unknown. (Photo by

Senna drove the McLaren MP4/8 during the 1993 season, as he finished runner-up in the championship

“Ayrton Senna was not only a driver who I valued highly for being one of the best racing has ever seen, but also a man of great compassion,” said Vettel. “It’s been 30 years since his accident and I would like to pay tribute to Ayrton.

“I will be in Imola for the Grand Prix to drive his car, the McLaren MP4/8. I hope to see you on Sunday, May 19.”


Don't miss your chance to experience the picturesque Imola circuit...


Having called time on his illustrious F1 career at the end of 2022, Vettel remains a massive fan favourite, as was showcased by the excitement around news last month that he could be pondering a return to competitive F1 action.

Following an endurance test with Porsche, the 36-year-old has admitted that a return to the sport could be “appealing”, having also held general talks with Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff.

Lewis Hamilton, who will be moving from Mercedes to Ferrari for 2025, also gave a potential Vettel comeback his vote of confidence, describing him as an ‘amazing option’ should Mercedes pick him in 2025.


Coming Up

Coming Up


‘A life-changing opportunity’ – What it’s like to work with a Formula 1 team as an F1 Engineering Scholar