Ayrton Senna

Tomorrow (May 1) will be 17 years since the great crash driver Ayrton Senna. So I decided to dedicate a post to his memory. Biography taken from Wikipedia.

(I do today because the post will not be for some time at a computer)


Ayrton da Silva was born in Sao Paulo in the home of a wealthy landowner. His father promoted the development of racing talent son, planted behind the wheel of the card is already four years. At thirteen, Ayrton first competed in karting. He described this episode in a documentary essay, published in the early 1980s. [Citation needed 124 days] Ayrton recalled that the race was held on the streets of the city, and the starting positions were written on slips of paper, which are then pulled out of the participants in the helmet. Ayrton got the first number, he started from pole position. Almost all participants were much more experienced than him, but could not catch him on the straights as he was much lighter and the car go faster. Turns, but Ayrton took place slowly, and in one of the turns in his car crashed into someone from behind, which is why he went off the road.
In 1977 he won the South American Kart. Then he participated in the World Cup and is ranked second in seven races, but has never been able to win.
In 1981 Ayrton married his longtime girlfriend - Lilian da Souza Vashkonselush. They had a lot of common interests, while they are even raced together, yet their marriage did not last long - in 1983 they divorced. "This marriage was a mistake" - said Senna after divorce - "but it is very well prepared." It is still unknown who was the initiator of the divorce, but both recognized that Senna gave too much importance to the race and could not combine them with marriage. After that he had a lot of novels (link unavailable), but before marriage is no longer the case came.
Also in 1981, the Brazilian went to Europe, where he immediately won the British Championship in Formula Ford 1600. At the same time, Ayrton began performing under her maiden name of his mother - Senna, as da Silva's family name was too common in Brazil. In 1982 Senna won the European Championship and the British Formula Ford 2000. In 1983, with 13 victories in 20 races, he became the champion of the British Formula 3, winning at the same time in the prestigious Macau Grand Prix, during the year he tested the machines of different commands Formula 1 - "Williams", "McLaren", "Brabham" and "Toulman", and reserved a place in the last race seat for the season 1984.

Early career in Formula 1.

The command "Toulman" was small in comparison with other known commands of the time, such as "Williams", "McLaren" or "Brabham". Despite this, she managed to create a good car, where Senna and showed his talent for the first time racing in Formula 1. The first point in the world championship of Formula 1, it earned 7 April 1984 on the track at Kyalami, which hosted the South African Grand Prix. In the next three races, he scored two more points and then at the Monaco Grand Prix, having a difficult race in heavy rain and overtaking several riders who had technically better machines (including double world champion Niki Lauda) took second place, winning it prevented the only stop of the race. Then, in the course of the season Senna two more times on the podium, finishing third in the Grand Prix of Great Britain and Portugal, and by the end the year ranked ninth in the championship.

Careers at Lotus.

The following year, in 1985 Senna moved to a stronger team - "Lotus" (this transition is accompanied by friction with the team "Toulman" with which Senna had a contract for another year, and that did not want to let him go). The team "Lotus" then built one of his best cars of the period - 97T, Senna's team partner was Elio De Angelis. On the first track of the season - the Grand Prix of Brazil - Senna was forced to retire because of problems with the electronics. In the second race of the season - the Grand Prix of Portugal, held April 21, 1985 on the track at Estoril in heavy rain - Senna started from pole for the first time, was able to win his first race in Formula 1, having won the "Grand Slam". However, the remaining races of the season were overshadowed by numerous technical problems, and despite the fact that Senna often wins the first position in qualifying, to finish the race he could not. He was able to win only one more victory - at the Circuit de Spa, which hosted the Belgian Grand Prix. By the end of the season Ayrton scored 38 points and took fourth place in the championship.

Ayrton Senna on the track Brands Hatch 1986
The second season of "Lotus", was formed in 1986 Senna better because the team's engineers did a good job on the machine, and it has become more reliable. At the start of the season at the Brazilian Grand Prix Senna finished second behind his compatriot Nelson Piquet, and then took the lead in the world championship after winning on the road, Jerez in Spain, where he was until the last second restrain was walking the second Nigel Mansell, who at the finish behind the Senna just 14 thousandths of a second. But this lead did not last long - the championship has become an arena of struggle mainly "McLaren" and "Williams" and "Lotus" again began to suffer from mechanical problems. Despite this, Senna won another victory, and in three more races could take second place and finished the championship with 55 points, having won with eight pole positions. However, the pilots "McLaren" and "Williams" - Prost, Mansell and Piquet - were so good that these points again, Senna was only enough for fourth place in the championship.
Season 1987 was also promising. The company "Renault" announces retirement from racing, and the team "Lotus" has used the engine "Honda", which was more powerful and reliable. Beginning of the season, Senna did not work, but then he has won two races in a row - the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix and the US Grand Prix in Detroit - and again was the leader of the championship. But Mansell and Piquet to "Williams" and this season showed such impressive results that Senna was hard to keep up with them, and after the Mexican Grand Prix, where Senna went off the road due to a faulty clutch, he lost his chances for the title, for which continued to fight among themselves Piquet and Mansell. Two races before the end of the season Mansell suffered in a crash in free practice before the Japanese Grand Prix and could not take part in this race, as well as in the subsequent Australian Grand Prix. This gave Senna the chances for second place, and he did everything he could, took second place in both races and score enough points for second place. However, after the Australian Grand Prix stewards found that holes to cool the brakes on the car Senna were broader than provided the regulations, and Senna was disqualified. Because of this, at the end of the season with 57 points, he finished third.
During the 1987 season Senna established a good relationship with the company "Honda", and when the end of the season Senna term contract with the team "Lotus" has expired, he was invited to the team, "McLaren", which is also used motors "Honda".

Career McLaren

In 1988, Senna was in the "McLaren", where his partner Alain Prost, at the time the double world champion. Thus began the harsh competition between them, culminating in a few racing incidents began with the participation of the two pilots. In the season of 1988 the share of the couple had 15 wins out of 16 (Only the Italian Grand Prix won by the team "Ferrari"), of which 8 belonged to Senna and 7 - Easy. In the championship Prost scored more points in total, but at that time in the championship standings, only 11 results were the best races, so eventually became champion Senna.
The following season, in 1989 the competition is even more intensified, resulting in the constant struggle on the track and a psychological war off it. A typical episode of this struggle was, for example, the German Grand Prix, Prost and Senna which fought for first place throughout the race; Senna won it. Champion was just after the incident in the penultimate race on the track in Suzuka where Senna tried to carry out a difficult pass, and the two cars collided spectacularly caught each other. This maneuver by Senna was very risky, and many later criticized him for this effort. At the same time, it was recognized that this place on the track was virtually the only one where it was possible to pass, and if Senna did not try to do it, the championship went exactly be easy. Some also believe that the clash was to blame Prost, Senna did not want to miss when he had actually passed him on the inside track. Senna was able to return to the pits to change the front spoiler and continue the race, winning it, but after the race he was disqualified. Senna has said publicly that in this episode, he was "brutally robbed", prompting sanctions by the FIA ​​- Senna was fined a large sum and temporarily deprived of a license to participate in Formula 1 racing. By the beginning of next season, Senna, by paying a fine and apologized to the FIA, regained his license.
Before the 1990 season, Prost left the team "Ferrari", explaining that "McLaren" preferred Senna. But the fate of the championship again decided in the penultimate race on the same track in Suzuka, and again the fight was between Prost and Senna. Their cars collided again, this time at the first corner after the start, and both dropped out of the race. At this point, many points had Senna, and he became a champion. According to telemetry, Senna did not even try to brake before the collision. Many believed that it was simply for revenge clash a year ago, and Senna was criticized for unsporting behavior. Senna initially did not recognize the obvious truth of this version, but not sought to refute it; a year later, in an interview before the start of the Japanese Grand Prix in 1991, he admitted that deliberately provoked the clash, and again accused the FIA ​​that the league title in 1989 he chose.

Ayrton Senna at the United States Grand Prix 1991
The 1991 season was the main battle between Senna and Nigel Mansell, speaking of "Williams". Senna won four races early in the season, in the next race, luck was on the side of Mansell. By the end of the season was an equal fight, but in the Japanese Grand Prix Mansell flew off the track and lost the chance to fight for the championship. Senna finished the season winning the race prematurely halted in Australia and became a champion for the third time.
In 1992, thanks to the intensive work done by engineers in the offseason, "Williams", Mansell had a big advantage and won 9 races out of 16, ahead of becoming the champion. Senna managed to win only three races - Grand Prix of Monaco, Hungary and Italy, with a victory in Monaco Senna was only required that ten laps to go in the car who was walking first Mansell burst tire. At the end of the season, Senna said he was hurt not only the technical advantage of the "Williams", but there is no simple - without Senna lost a landmark, could not accept Mansell as a serious contender and thus had problems with motivation.
In 1993 Senna had no contract with any of the teams. Nigel Mansell retired from Formula 1 IndyCar series and the team, "Williams," technically the best at the time, came to Alain Prost. Senna also tried to get a place in the "Williams" However, simply demanded that the team refused to such a step. "McLaren" at this time had problems: the company "Honda" has gone from Formula 1, and "Renault", which supplied engines "Williams", refused to supply them as well and "McLaren". In the end, Team Principal Ron Dennis managed to conclude a contract with the company "Ford", but it is stipulated that "McLaren" will be delivered less powerful engines than the team, "Benetton" - the main partner, "Ford." In "McLaren" I am hoping that they will be able to neutralize the gap with the best chassis and improved electronics. Senna tested "McLaren" in the off-season and found that the chassis came out really good, but still felt a lack of engine power. Therefore, Senna refused to sign a contract with "McLaren" for the whole season, but agreed to go, to conclude an agreement on each race individually. The season turned out impressive: at the opening of the season in South Africa Senna finished second, then won two races in a row - the Brazilian Grand Prix and then the Grand Prix of Europe (this race, which was held in the rain, is considered one of the best races of Senna). The unexpected success continued with victory in the Monaco Grand Prix. After that Senna signed a contract with "McLaren" on the rest of the season and began to agitate the company "Ford" to deliver the best engines "McLaren". However, in subsequent races Alain Prost was able to better adapt to the car, "Williams" and began to show more and more good results and, in the end, won the championship. Senna finished the season wins in the Japanese Grand Prix and the Australian Grand Prix and won the vice-champion title, which was a worthy end of his career in the team, "McLaren".

Rain Man.

It is believed that in the Formula 1 race in wet conditions equalize the chances of participants - speed greatly reduced, and the advantage of a more powerful engine and better aerodynamics leveled. However, Ayrton Senna in these conditions has repeatedly demonstrated a great advantage over the other riders. For numerous examples of high achievements in the rain racing sports journalists and fans gave Senna the nickname of "Rain Man».
In the season of 1984, when Senna came to Formula 1, the first rain race was the Monaco Grand Prix - a race that is considered difficult even in good weather, as it passes through the city streets. Senna, is far from having the best car (Toleman TG184), started from the 13th place. When the race was stopped after 31 range (rain became so strong that continue the race was too dangerous), Senna was in second place, quickly catching up with the first coming Alain Prost. It was very unusual for Monaco, where overtaking is severely hampered and even a race on a dry track often does not happen any overtaking.
His first victory on the track at Estoril in 1985 Senna won in heavy rain when even the second which went Alain Prost lost control, spun and threw it at the wall. The second race in which Senna won in 1985 - Belgian Grand Prix - also took place in the rain. Subsequently, Senna had a lot of rain interesting races that were remembered and experts, and fans.

Senna ahead of Wendlinger Foreign trajectory (Donington Park, 1993)
One of the most exciting races of rain Senna became the European Grand Prix 1993, held on the track at Donington Park. Senna to "McLaren" took the 4th place in qualifying, behind Alain Prost and Damon Hill on the "Williams" and Michael Schumacher in the "Benetton". At that time it was thought that the car "Williams FW15S", which were Prost and Hill greatly exceed "the McLaren MP4 / 8", which appeared Senna, and a chance to win the race at the "McLaren" bit. Some experts believe that "FW15S Williams" was the most technically perfect race car of those that have ever appeared in Formula 1. But the race began with heavy rain that has upset all predictions. Immediately after the start Hill forced Schumacher on the outside, and that, in turn, forced Senna, who had nowhere to go. At this point, Wendlinger, who started fifth, was able to get around on the inner path and Senna and Schumacher, leaving them fifth and fourth respectively. However, Senna initially, moving to the inner side of the path, Schumacher was able to get around, and then, in high-speed left turn, suddenly took the outside, where no one else was driving. This decision seemed completely wrong, but Senna was driving on the outside so quickly that easily surpassed Wendlinger and managed to take a correct position before the next right turn. Most likely, the grip on the outside was much better than on the inside, and Senna was the only one of the riders who were able to predict it. Then, turning corners much faster than the "Williams", he overtook Hill first and then just, and by the end of the first round had been in the first place. Many experts said after the race that it was the best first lap of the race, which they have ever seen. In the future, the rain stopped, then started again, riders constantly change tires, with Senna a few times during the race tightened replaced by rubber, continuing to go on a wet track on slicks. As a result, at the finish of the race in the same lap with the winner Senna it was only a hill, which has lagged behind Senna at 80 seconds.
With the best lap in the race was altogether entertaining: Senna drove through the pit lane without stopping, and set so the best lap - because of the peculiarities of the configuration of the track way through the pit lane was short, and despite the fact that the Brazilian was this time on rain tires, turned round faster than the laps before on slicks on a normal trajectory.



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