An event in honour of the late Ayrton Senna yesterday raised £72,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals charities in London.
The evening, which featured a panel of Formula 1 celebrities who recounted their memories of the Brazilian legend, was organised by Hexagon Modern Classics and hosted at the company’s premises in East Finchley.
Sky F1’s Natalie Pinkham quizzed the panel, which comprised ex-racers David Coulthard and Martin Donnelly, motor racing engineers Paddy Lowe and Dave Ryan as well as Manish Pandey, who wrote and produced the award-winning biopic of Senna’s life in 2010.
Coulthard said: “Ayrton Senna was one of those few exceptional people you are fortunate to meet in your life.”
Paddy Lowe recalled his time at Williams in the early 1990s when “trying to beat Ayrton and McLaren was like trying to overturn the Roman Empire”.
Manish Pandey remembered a nerve-wracking meeting with Bernie Ecclestone when he was making his acclaimed film. “We had to ask for more F1 footage but we had no more money," he recalled. "Bernie agreed.”
The auction items included Roman Grosjean race boots, signed by the Lotus F1 driver, a framed set of signed Jenson Button race boots, McLaren’s own ‘Senna’ book, signed by Ron Dennis, an Eddie Jordan TW Steel watch donated by Eddie Jordan, and Ferrari GTO dashboard artwork, signed by artist Emilio Saluzzi.
Also on offer was a VIP tour of the Williams F1 Grand Prix Collection and private factory tour, a collection of three montages of iconic Senna images shot by Keith Sutton, a canvas of Ayrton Senna by artist Paul Oz, a Senna replica helmet signed by Lewis Hamilton and VIP weekend paddock passes to British GP donated by Bernie Ecclestone.