Donington F1 Museum

I took lots of photo’s today and couldn’t wait to upload them to show you! I’d previously gone to Coventry Transport Museum, and after seeing Mark Webber’s Jaguar, I just had to see more! If you are an Ayrton Senna fan, then you will probably like it here, there’s no MP4/4, but in the McLaren gallery there are pictures of Ayrton in almost every direction you look, it’s incredible.

At the entry to the exhibition, there’s a big statue/sculpture tribute to Ayrton Senna and Juan Manuel Fangio in the memorial garden. There was also some big wall art on display:

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When you enter the museum itself, you have the café to your left and the exhibition to your right; but smack in the middle of the room is David Coulthard’s RB4 from 2008. It’s the closest I’ve been to a more modern F1 car, and it was a stunning piece of equipment.

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You then enter a room with vehicles from the second world war? And I must say, some of them are huge!

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Then you step into the main entrance to the Formula 1 cars, titled ‘The Donington Collection’ and the first car on your left is a Brabham BT24, followed by a Maserati 8CM, Austin 7 Twin Cam, Mercedes W125, Auto Union Type A (which was tiny!!) and several other cars as you can see from the pictures.

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Jackie Stewarts Matra was next, and I was looking at it for quite a while (wrote a post on him not long ago, read it here) and as you can see, as well as Kogan’s next to it, they’re both gorgeous.

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Another few images from this hall:

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I was absolutely gobsmacked that the BAR Honda was here. It wasn’t Jenson Button’s, but it was Takuma Sato’s and this is the oldest car that I have vivid memories of, so I was really excited when I saw it!

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You then follow the room round, and you reach something called the ‘Williams hall’.

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It’s a no brainer as to what’s in the Williams hall, my Dad was completely in awe with the hall and it took him a while to leave. Filled with cars driven by Nico and Keke Rosberg, Damon Hill, Nigel Mansell, Jenson Button and several others, it took me a while to leave the history filled room as well. I mentioned it in my favourite cars post, but in person, Damon’s and Nigel’s Williams cars are even better up close and personal than they are in photo’s – especially Damon’s.

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At the end of the Williams hall, there’s a small Jaguar display, with a cool picture wall behind it!

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The McLaren hall is next, and you are greeted by a couple of Kimi Raikkonen’s cars, amongst several of the red and white liveried cars.

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Jody Scheckter, Denny Hulme, David Coulthard were all amongst the cars above, and then as you carried on walking down you just get a bit of a chill. The livery of these cars are just so iconic, it’s hard to not know which team they are. As I said before, this room is completely Senna based, and there’s pictures of him everywhere!

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You then come across a few cabinets full of race suits, helmets, gloves, memorabilia etc, it was actually really fascinating to look at. The difference between Stirling Moss’ helmet and David Coulthard’s is just bizarre (apologies for the reflections, the cabinets were facing a window).

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The last thing you come to is a BRM and Vanwall collection –

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I really advise you to go, I think it’s such a good place with a fantastic collection of cars. What do you think?

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5 thoughts on “Donington F1 Museum

  1. Andrew Parrish says:

    I was there on Thursday 1/8/13 from 10am when it opened for the day. A fantastic place to visit , a must for any F1 motor racing fans . Well worth the trip !

  2. Mark Haggan says:

    Donington is such a great place. I spent six years working in Donington Hall; Donington Park was originally the estate of the Hall. As well as motor racing, there is a great aircraft museum a few hundred yards away, and it’s the home to the Download Festival, and it’s forerunner, Monsters of Rock. It was a great place to work. http://markhaggan.com/motor-racing/good-evening-donington/

    Sadly, some of the Senna exhibits have moved. There used to be one of his cars their complete with a flag, but that went about a year or so ago. http://markhaggan.com/motor-racing/formula-one/the-donington-collection/

    I was having lunch there a few weeks ago, when a couple of chaps arrived and took Senna’s old Toleman off in a truck. It’s now on display in a shop in Derby. http://markhaggan.com/motor-racing/formula-one/sennas-toleman-from-1984-is-on-the-move/

    There is a memorial there too for Roger Williamson, who came from nearby Ashby de la Zouch, and who was supported by Tom Wheatcroft, who owned Donington Park and The Donington Collection. He was killed in particularly tragic circumstances despite the heroic attempts by his colleague, David Purley, to save him. http://markhaggan.com/motor-racing/formula-one/the-tragic-tale-of-roger-williamson-and-the-heroism-of-david-purley/

    Kate, I agree though; if you’re a Motorsport fan, you should visit Donington!

  3. Aaron says:

    Been there a couple of times (most recent this year). When I first went a few years back I got to sit in one of Senna’s car, talk about an awesome moment as a fan!

    Great collection they have there and well worth checking out.

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