Ayrton Senna 1960 - 1994

Twenty nine years ago today Sunday May 1st 1994 at the San Marino Grand Prix the world lost the greatest Formula 1 driver.

Ayrton Senna 1960 - 1994

“I race designed to win”

“There is no compromise.”

“You give everything you have.”


“Absolutely everything.”

R.I.P Ayrton

“I think Senna I will put him in number one” Fernando Alonso

“For me Senna is number one” Felipe Massa

“For me he was number one” Rubens Barrrichello

“I will put Ayrton Senna as number one” Jarno Trulli

“For me Ayrton Senna undoubtedly was the number one” David Coulthard

“I will put him number one you know he was definitely the greatest driver” Mika Hakkinen

“If you ask me I put Senna as well in number one” Michael Schumacher

“He had a God given talent that I haven’t witnessed anywhere else. A sixth sense of where the grip was before he turned into a corner” Martin Brundle

“You know I’ll be honest with you. I was never a Senna fan. I always thought Gilles Villeneuve was the greatest racing driver of them all. But to make this film I’ve watched hours and hours and hours of footage and the thing is Villeneuve was spectacular on a number of occasions, Senna was spectacular every single time he got in a car” Jeremy Clarkson


You’ve opened more or less identical threads every year for several years now! Does Ayrton Senna hold some special memory for you?


It’s the fourth absolutely same thread.


Original post edited now includes BBC Top Gear Tribute video to Ayrton Senna after the Jeremy Clarkson quote.

Ayrton Senna was a hard-headed a*se, and about number 6 or 7 on the best F1 drivers list. Being a good sportsman is clearly demenstrated by the actions of the best drivers. He wasn’t the winningest by a long shot, and most definitely the worst (whiniest) team mate to have. Waaa … I won’t drive unless you put me in the fastest car.
There have been much more skilled drivers through the years, and many of them came from middle-income families, not filthy rich, buy me a seat families.
And Brazil has a car racing program that promotes drivers far more than other countries where you’re on your own even if you’re excellent. But of course … if your daddy has many millions of dollars …

One person’s ‘hard-headed’, is another’s focussed and single-minded. In a sport involving $100m’s of investment, personal risk and highly competitive people, it is not surprising the best are tough. I personally find it amazing that drivers from very wealthy backgrounds are willing to dedicate huge amounts of time to pursue a sport that can take their life when they don’t have to. An accident of birth has no bearing on the skill and achievements of drivers.


I detect, reading between the lines, that you were not a fan. Lol.

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Well yes, there’s certainly two sides to thoughts such as these, especially when considering someone is a huge fan with a completely opposite viewpoint.

Regarding the accident of birth thing, I was just pointing out the increased opportunities that the very rich have over us less funded types. It can be quite unfair at times.
The fact that the rich will take on these things can possibly be explained by the rich are never rich enough and always want more. They wouldn’t do it for free and F1 are probably the highest paid sportsmen.

My overall feeling is: the very best drivers that I revere, didn’t kill them selves on the race course.

Darn, I try to be subtle … :grin:

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What makes Arton so special, more than Hamilton or Schumacher?
Just curious, as I know absolutely nothing on that matter.

Just off of the top of my head.
-He was the fastest man over a single lap in F1 history.
-He was the best in the rain in F1 history.
-He won Monaco a record 6 times.
-He utterly destroyed a very talented driver like Prost in qualifying, including out qualifying him by 1.4 seconds in Monaco in 1988.


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Or Clark, or Stewart, or Lauda… Or Fangio or Prost. All were great drivers, in each of their eras.

It has though, become difficult to compare, due to the changes in the numbers in recent years. More points, per race and far more races.


Yes, that’s always been my point as well. Senna wasn’t any better than any or all of the drivers you just mentioned and a few others as well. As a matter of fact, he wasn’t even as good as quite a few of them.
He did attract a dedicated fan following though. I doubt he had any more dedicated fans than any of the other drivers, but Senna’s fans appear to be much more vocal.

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Senna was perhaps the first or best known of the ‘angry/pushy/noisy’ type of driver of modern times. It seems to be considered ‘OK’ for a lot of modern sports men to be a bit like that. I think its there in Hamilton, for sure - Schumacher not so much. Verstappen… yes. But I cannot imagine Clark ever being like that…

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Wow, good character analysing. And Juan Fangio, Prost, and Lauda always seemed to act like gentlemen sportsmen both on and off the course. Emotional self-control is something to be admired.
I never saw Fangio race, of course, by his interviews were enjoyable.
Remember John McEnroe? Same style. To me … they’re like ill-mannered, impudent little boys, engaging in fisticuffs if another driver cuts them off.

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Yup. Spot on. Childish even.

Some current drivers have been known to leave the circuit in their private jets, without fulfilling their obligations, after a race didn’t go their way…

Of relatively recent drivers, Coulthard stands out, I think, as being closer to the Clark-Prost style. Believe he was much liked by his various teams, for his willingness to co-operate with them & meet with sponsors…?

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My vote will be for Prost, normal, cause he is french and seems to be a nice guy.
Despite his character, my favourite tennis player was McEnroe. What a show when he was fighting with Borg. So strong opposite technics.

Senna accepted nothing less than 100% and had a mighty will to win. He was very demanding, but he gave just as much as he asked. In 1993 he managed 5 wins against Prost’s 7, even though Prost was driving a far superior car with the best engine.
Senna was also very charismatic and enigmatic, something that cannot be said of some other top tier drivers.

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Yeah, spoiled just like Senna. Probably spoiled by his filthy-rich parents as a lad as well.
Coulthard does seem to exhibit good traits.

@frenchrooster . I always admired Prost’s style as the ‘professor’ as they called him. Cool, calculating, and in solid control of his emotions. Very important for keeping yourself and your peers alive. Something Senna didn’t understand at all.

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Prost seems to be also very humble for an F1 driver and not afraid to admit his shortcomings.