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A helmet worn by Formula One ace Ayrton Senna in his first Championship-winning season was the top lot at RM Sotheby’s F1 memorabilia auction last week when it sold for a whopping $102,000 (£77,500).
All 103 items in the online auction, which ran from 22 November to 2 December, were offered without reserve – and every single one of them was snapped up by a buyer, making a total of $728,454 (£553,000).
The signed Senna helmet was the big success – it went for more than double its pre-auction estimate of $50,000. Then again, the Brazilian is thought to have worn it in the 1988 season, during which he won eight times in his McLaren-Honda MP4/4.
Next in the sales table was a Ferrari F2002 Tipo 051/B/C V10 engine (above), as used by Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello in their triumphant 2002 and ’03 seasons, during which they won 15 Grands Prix between them and picked up back-to-back Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championships. That made $93,600 (£71,120).
Schumacher items were in great demand throughout, with a helmet worn by the German in the 2001 season fetching $48,000 (£36,400) and another from 1998 making $21,600 (£16,400). A Schumacher racing suit from 1996 also went for $11,400 (£8600) and even a pair of Ferrari Nike trainers sold for an astonishing $25,200 (£19,100).
Senna items were just as popular as those with Schumacher provenance: a racing suit used mainly for promotional duties in McLaren’s all-conquering 1988 season (above) was sold for $36,000 (£27,500), a pair of gloves from the same year made $24,000 (£18,200) and a signed Lotus steering wheel-and-gloves set from 1986 fetched $16,800 (£12,700).