• 31-MAR-2017

Ayrton Senna: the man and the legend. At the Lamborghini Museum at Sant'Agata Bolognese, from 12 April

  • A special exhibition to commemorate the Brazilian driver’s 1993 test of a F1 car with a Lamborghini engine
  • Ercole Colombo and Giorgio Terruzzi, authors and curators of the photography exhibition
  • On show, every single-seat race car Senna drove during his career

Sant’Agata Bolognese, 31 March, 2017 – Lamborghini Museum at Sant’Agata Bolognese is hosting a special exhibition from 12 April to 9 October exploring the life of F1 champion Ayrton Senna, to commemorate his 1993 test drive at Estoril in a McLaren fitted with a Lamborghini engine. Every race car ever driven by the Brazilian champion will be on display, from his debut outing to his tragic accident, heightening the appeal of the “Ayrton Senna. The last night” photography exhibition. The cars on display will include the white MP4/8, identical to the one tested at Estoril, along with its engine.

Stefano Domenicali, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Automobili Lamborghini, will welcome the media to the official presentation on 12 April, together with Ercole Colombo and Giorgio Terruzzi, curators of this photographic record, and Mauro Forghieri and Daniele Audetto, who attended the test drive in 1993 that Senna found so exhilarating.

The exhibition will run alongside Lamborghini Museum’s permanent collection. The new Aventador S and Huracán Performante, holder of the Nürburgring race track record, will also be on display to mark the occasion. The museum is open daily from 12 April to 9 October, including Sundays, from 9.30 am to 7 pm.

This exhibition also marks the start of a permanent partnership between Lamborghini Museum and Pirelli, strengthening the well-established technical bond and shared passion of the two companies.

The Brazilian champion’s career and Lamborghini’s time in Formula 1 crossed paths for a fleeting moment. In September 1993, McLaren was looking for an engine for the following season and tested the Lamborghini V12 on its MP4/8, which filled Ayrton Senna with enthusiasm. He even wanted to finish the season with the engine, ahead of the 1994 Championship. But negotiations fell through and the new partnership never got off the ground.  


The leitmotif of the exhibition, together with all the single-seat cars that Senna ever drove during his career, is the intense and emotion-filled story of a man and a sportsman, narrated by journalist Giorgio Terruzzi with the photographs by top motorsports photographer Ercole Colombo, on display like paintings.

The exhibition is named “Ayrton Senna. The last night” with the intention of recalling memories of one of the most admired and celebrated Formula 1 drivers, taking a closer look at some of the most significant moments in his life: his first forays in kart racing; the single-seat racing cars of the lower racing classes where he dominated the scene from the word go; his debut in Formula 1; his famous victories and defeats; his friends and rivals on the track, his complicated relationship with Alain Prost; his love life, his faith and family events, and his final, dramatic hours on the track, after that last, restless night spent in a hotel near Imola.

The much admired and celebrated champion instantly became a legend when he lost his life on 1 May 1994, just 34 years of age, on the second lap of the San Marino Grand Prix due to the failure of the steering column (it was actually lap seven, but the safety car was on the track for five of them). Senna is a legend augmented by time, celebrated by this event.

The public will be able to experience his emotional story, culminating with the last night the driver spent in the now-famous “Suite 200” of Hotel Castello at Castel San Pietro, near the race track where the Grand Prix was to be held. In a room suspended between time and space, visitors will be able to share the sensations and reflections of his last night, and admire a new portrait of a champion whose death has left an unfillable void.

The photography exhibition was produced by ViDi (Vidicultural, Milan) with the support of Lamborghini Museum, which was able to bring together all the race cars the pilot drove during his career, heightening the impact of the pictures with elements taken from the pilot’s real life.

The cars on display are: the Toleman of his first epic season in Formula 1, the black Lotus JPS of his first victory, the McLaren he took to so many successes and his final Williams. And that's not all. His Kart, the two Formula Fords of his British and European victories, and the Ralt F3 he drove to dominate the scene.

Next to the Lambo F1 designed by Mauro Forghieri at the beginning of the display, the white McLaren with its Lamborghini V12 engine at its side reminds  of the test drive at Estoril in 1993.