An ode to Senna: the moments when Senna’s magic could be seen seem endless

- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_img
An ode to Senna: the moments when Senna’s magic could be seen seem endless

When thinking of Formula 1 legends, Ayrton Senna is always on the list, if not at the top. The Brazilian three-time world champion has left his mark on the premier class and that mark has never faded since. On the birthday of the driver from São Paolo, F1Maximum looks back on how Senna spread his magic in Formula 1. Today Senna would have turned 63.

In 1984, Senna entered the Formula 1 battleground at his home circuit in Brazil. There, the Brazilian started his Formula 1 career as a 24-year-old, which has lasted ten years. In those ten years, Senna established himself as a legend in the racing world, becoming the benchmark for raw talent and charisma and standing on the record as one of the most successful and talented Formula 1 drivers.

His motivation for a lap and his constant desire to push the boundaries for more has ensured that Senna holds a special place in the hearts of many motorsport fans. His three titles give an idea of ​​what might have been had he not died at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. A combination of natural speed and restless ambition gave Senna an edge rarely seen.

Senna entered Formula 1 with an excellent CV

Senna could hardly have come up with better statistics from his motorsport career in F1. The Brazilian was Formula Ford 1600 champion in 1981, Formula Ford 2000 champion in 1982 and British Formula 3 champion in 1983, winning the Macau Grand Prix that same year. The Macau street circuit is regarded as one of the most special, dangerous and challenging circuits, and Senna made an immediate impression with his victory.

His junior career earned him a shot at the premier class with Toleman in 1984. The team started the season with the same chassis used the previous year, and Senna scored his first points by finishing sixth at the South African Grand Prix at Kyalami , which was only the second race. Three weeks later, he repeated the feat at the Belgian Grand Prix.

Senna’s years with Lotus F1 Team

The story of bitter, bitter feuds and transcendent triumph has an enduring fascination, but the iconography of Senna’s Formula 1 career is so closely linked to his peak years at McLaren that his ‘F1 adolescence’ is often overlooked. From 1985 to 1987, Senna’s formative years at Lotus saw the traits and tropes that would become the Senna legend develop and crystallize as facets of his personal and professional nature.

The Brazilian’s first victory came at the 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril, which was only the second race of the season. The day before the race, Senna had also secured his first-ever pole position. From pole, Senna had a significant lead early on, with the gap to second only widening as the rain poured down on the Portuguese circuit.

Elio de Angelis, the Brazilian’s teammate, won the next race. Senna retired several times during the season, but was back on the top step of the podium at the race in the Belgian Ardennes. Senna finished fourth in the standings that year as his closest rival Alain Prost took his first title. The French four-time world champion then drove for McLaren, the team that Senna joined not much later.

The greatest rivals in Formula 1 history: Senna vs. Prost

Almost simultaneously with the start of Senna’s Formula 1 career, the rivalry with French four-time world champion Alain Prost began. It is regarded as one of the most spectacular rivalries in the premier class. After three seasons in the Lotus car, Senna switched to McLaren in 1988. Now two-time world champion Prost started his fifth year at McLaren. Senna’s arrival coincided with Honda’s departure from Williams, with whom the Japanese company had won the previous two Constructors’ Championships as an engine supplier.

The collaboration between McLaren and Honda turned out to be unstoppable. The MP4/4 car won every race but one that season and also missed just one pole position all year. At the British racing team, Senna turned out to be a qualifying beast. In his career, the Brazilian collected 65 pole positions. Previously, qualifying lasted one hour and the drivers were allowed to drive an unlimited number of laps. The three-time world champion always made sure to put in his last fast lap before that hour was up. He was the last to make an attempt to take pole position.

The battle for supremacy between Senna and Prost began in 1989 with allegations of preferential treatment and favoritism towards Senna. The two drivers regularly ran into each other on the track, such as in Japan in 1989. Senna was eventually disqualified and Prost was able to take the title. Ultimately, that led to Prost signing for Ferrari in 1990. This eventually led to an intense rivalry between manufacturers McLaren and Ferrari.

The list of Grands Prix where Senna’s magic was visible seems endless

Soon after the start of his career, Senna was renamed the King of Monaco. His first win came in 1987, followed by five more. The Brazilian still holds the record for most wins on the Monte Carlo street circuit. Between 1989 and 1993, Senna won all Grands Prix in the principality in a McLaren.

Senna was a driver who seemed to come from another planet. The list of moments in which the magic of the Brazilian driver could be heard, therefore seems to be endless. The three-time world champion was not called the rain king for nothing. Senna felt like a fish in water, even though it was stormy and the water ran down the asphalt.

The Brazilian only seemed to get faster in the rain, and he proved it at his home race in Brazil in 1991. There he lost several gears on his car, but he managed to bring his McLaren across the line and take his first victory on his into the home circuit. Senna’s win at Donnington Park in 1993, however, is regarded as his best rain race. Senna started fourth there in the pouring rain, had built up a lead after a few corners, and did not relinquish it.

Senna is thought of at every Japanese Grand Prix. The 1988 Japanese Grand Prix earned him a title he thought he had lost at the start of the race. “It was more than a timeless victory for the new world champion, it was a work of art – like something out of a Hollywood movie, with a happy ending for Senna,” Senna’s official site described his victory. Senna also won the championship in Japan in 1990 and 1991. As a result, there is still praise for the relationship Senna had with Japan.

‘If you no longer go for a gap that exists, you’re no longer a racing driver’

A thousand word article is not nearly enough to describe what a fantastic driver Senna was. In 161 races, the Brazilian won three world titles, 41 victories and 65 pole positions. In addition to these brilliant statistics, he was also a charismatic driver who is remembered as one of the best Formula 1 drivers in the history of the sport.

His talent, natural speed and intelligence leave many wondering what Senna could have achieved if that one black day in Imola in 1994 had never happened. The Brazilian could have set records that perhaps no one could have broken in a very long time. It is therefore more than true that almost thirty years after his death, his career is still being talked about. Senna is and will always be one of the greatest.

- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_img
Latest news
- Advertisement -spot_img
Related news
- Advertisement -spot_img