A race-worn helmet of legendary Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna has come up for sale at an online auction.
Listed on Catawiki, the helmet's reported 1985 date of production and the Renault sticker across its visor means it was almost certainly used in the '85 or '86 season when Senna drove for Lotus, and before the team's 1987 switchover to Honda power. During these two seasons, Senna took a total of four Grand Prix wins, meaning this helmet might've been worn for one of those victories, though the auction's listing does not specify for which races Senna wore the protective gear.
The seller states that the helmet was purchased in the 1980s and placed in a private collection wherein it was cared for well, being kept out of sunlight to avoid bleaching its colors. Its only damage was incurred during the Grands Prix in which it was raced and includes scratching and chipping where gravel struck the helmet and visor during races.
Remaining time on the lot totals just over three days at the time of this article, and the leading bid stands at $56,193. As the reserve has been met, the person that placed that bid will walk away the winner on Sunday if nobody offers up $58,535, the next minimum. Its final price is likely to be in the neighborhood of a helmet sold in July—which Senna wore for pre-season testing in 1994—for $67,766.
But by a huge margin, it won't be the most expensive piece of Senna memorabilia sold in recent memory. The McLaren MP4/8A with which Senna won the 1993 Monaco Grand Prix sold for $5 million in May to ex-F1 bigwig Bernie Ecclestone. Someone should have told the ex-F1 supremo that he could've gotten one of Senna's old racing vehicles for much cheaper, like his last kart, which sold for just $15,400. A bargain, all things considered.