Watch: $2 million McLaren Senna catches fire on track
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A $2 million McLaren Senna owned by a self-described “German automotive influencer” sensationally caught fire at the Austrian Grand Prix.
Austrian Formula 1 legend Gerhard Berger drove the McLaren in a supercar parade at the Red Bull Ring on Sunday, joining racing celebrities such as Mark Webber, David Coulthard and Tom Kristensen on the circuit.
Another Senna that just caught fire in Austria 😶 pic.twitter.com/1scHjrXXZV— Earl Karanja (@Earlsimxx) June 30, 2019
But the demonstration turned into disaster when fire enveloped the rear end of the supercar Berger borrowed for the demonstration run.
Fire marshals posted around the track for the Grand Prix were able to extinguish the flames before the car was destroyed.
The owner, known on Instagram as Gercollector (for German car collector), told 556,000 followers “both the driver and passenger were able to quickly exit and are fine having stepped out of the car unharmed”.
“The quick responses by those involved prevented more than minimal damage to the rear right section of the vehicle which will now be transported back to McLaren for them to start an investigation as to the cause of the fire.”
McLaren has been contacted for comment.
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A post shared by GERCOLLECTOR (@gercollector) on Jun 30, 2019 at 6:07am PDT
Priced from $1.7 million plus optional extras in Australia, the Senna is the most expensive car you can buy for the road in this country. It’s also the most powerful, sending an astonishing 597kW and 800Nm to the rear wheels courtesy of a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8.
The problem represents a significant loss of face for McLaren, which has been fighting publicity fires in recent months.
YouTube star Alejandro “Salomondrin” Salomon, who has more than 1.6 million followers on the popular video service, lost his own Senna to a devastating fire in December 2018.
Salomondrin has vowed to sue McLaren following the loss of his car.
Customers waiting to take delivery of the 400km/h-plus, circa-$4 million McLaren Speedtail coupe might not have been pleased to see smoke pouring out of a prototype example in the UK last month.
While teething trouble for development cars is relatively common, fires clearly should not occur when customers receive their cars.
But a hybrid-powered McLaren P1 made headlines around the world when it caught fire in the UK in 2017. Closer to home, a McLaren 570S brought unwanted attention when it caught fire in the Adelaide Hills in April.
McLaren is not alone in facing fire problems for its cars.
Ferrari recalled the 458 Italia in 2010 to address a fire hazard for the evocative coupe, and Porsche issued new engines to owners of the previous-generation 911 GT3 in 2014 following engine fires.