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Red Bull, McLaren stack up on ultra-softs in Spa F1 tire picks

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Red Bull and McLaren have both taken full advantage of Pirelli’s decision to take the ultra-soft Formula 1 tire to Spa for the first time, stacking up on the compound for the Belgian Grand Prix.

Pirelli released each driver’s tire picks for the race on Thursday, having previously announced that it would be supplying teams with the soft, super-soft and ultra-soft compounds for the race in Belgium.

McLaren and Red Bull both opted to go aggressive, their drivers electing to take nine sets of the ultra-soft compound to Spa, skimping out on the soft tire as a result.

F1 title contenders Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton have gone for a more conservative approach, the latter opting for the joint-safest selection in the field with four sets of softs, three super-softs and six ultra-softs.

As usual, drivers will be required to complete Q3 on the ultra-soft tire and save one set of both the soft and ultra-softs for the race, using either tire once.

Have a decent tax refund coming? Buy Ayrton Senna’s 1993 Monaco-winning car

Photos courtesy Bonhams
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Are you expecting a better than normal tax refund? Did you get a very nice bonus from your company due to the new tax cut?

Well, if you have a good chunk of change hanging around and potentially can be in Monaco on May 11, you can have a chance to bid on the 1993 McLaren-Ford MP4/8A that the late Ayrton Senna drove in — and won — that year’s Monaco Grand Prix.

We’re not just talking about any race winner. It’s also the same car Senna won his sixth Monaco Grand Prix, and the chassis bears the number six.

It’s also the same car Senna piloted to that season’s F1 championship (his third and final title before sadly being killed the next year) and is the first McLaren driven by Senna that’s ever been sold or put up for auction.

The famed Bonhams auction house is overseeing the sale of the car.

“Any Grand Prix-winning car is important, but to have the golden combination of both Senna and Monaco is a seriously rare privilege indeed,” Bonhams global head of motorsport, Mark Osborne, told The Robb Report.

“Senna and Monaco are historically intertwined, and this car represents the culmination of his achievements at the Monegasque track. This is one of the most significant Grand Prix cars ever to appear at auction, and is certainly the most significant Grand Prix car to be offered since the Fangio Mercedes-Benz W196R, which sold for a world record at auction.”

How much might you need? You might want to get a couple of friends to throw in a few bucks as well.

“We expect the car to achieve a considerable seven-figure sum,” Osborne said.

The London newspaper “The Telegraph” predicts the car will sell in the $6.1 million range.”

“This car will set the world record for a Senna car at auction,” Osborne said. “We are as certain as you can be in the auction world.”

While you won’t be able to take the car for a test drive before the auction, it’ll be ready to roar once you pay the price.

“In theory, the buyer could be racing immediately upon receipt of the cleared funds after the auction,” Osborne said. “All systems are primed and ready.”