Ayrton Senna

Birthday : 1960-03-21
Deceased : 1994-05-01

Biography Ayrton Senna

Ayrton Senna da Silva (Brazilian Portuguese 21 March 1960 – 1 May 1994) was a Brazilian racing driver who won three Formula One world championships. He was killed in an accident while leading the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. He was among the most dominant and successful Formula One drivers of the modern era and is considered one of the greatest drivers in the history of the sport. He remains the most recent driver fatality in Formula One.

Motorsport Career

Senna began his motorsport career in karting, moving up to open-wheel racing in 1981, and winning the British Formula 3 championship in 1983. He made his Formula One debut with Toleman-Hart in 1984 before moving to Lotus-Renault the following year and winning six Grands Prix over the next three seasons. In 1988, he joined Frenchman Alain Prost at McLaren-Honda. Between them, they won all but one of the 16 Grands Prix that year and Senna claimed his first World Championship. Prost claimed the championship in 1989, and Senna his second and third championships in 1990 and 1991. In 1992, the Williams-Renault combination began to dominate Formula One. Senna nonetheless managed to finish the 1993 season as runner-up, winning five races and negotiating a move to Williams in 1994.

Ayrton Senna and Formula 1

Senna has often been voted as one of the greatest Formula One drivers of all time in various motorsport polls. He was recognised for his qualifying speed over one lap and from 1989 until 2006 held the record for most pole positions. He was also acclaimed for his wet weather performances, such as the 1984 Monaco Grand Prix, the 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix, and the 1993 European Grand Prix. He holds a record six victories at the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix, and is the third most successful driver of all time in terms of race wins. Senna courted controversy throughout his career, particularly during his turbulent rivalry with Alain Prost. In the Japanese Grands Prix of 1989 and 1990, each of which decided the Championship of that year, collisions between Senna and Prost determined the eventual winner.

Ayrton Senna in Group C with a Porsche 956

Ayrton Senna in the Porsche 956 for the Joest Racing Team ( 1984 Nürburgring 1000KM)
Ayrton Senna in the Porsche 956 for the Joest Racing Team ( 1984 Nürburgring 1000KM)

In 1984 Ayrton Senna debuted in Formula 1. His manager, Julian Jakobi, had good contacts with the Joest Racing Team. This allowed Ayrton Senna to start the Nürburgring 1000KM the same year. Ayrton Senna shares a NewMan livery Porsche 956 with Henri Pescarolo and Stefan Johansson.

Reinhold Joest, team manager of the Joest Racing Team was immediately impressed by the talent and driving skills of Ayrton Senna. However, the Porsche 956 had to cope with too much technical problems to play a significant role in the race. A flat tire, a broken clutch and in the end a sputtering turbo engine  were their part. The trio finished the race in the end at an 8th place. The gap with the winning Rothmans-Porsche 956 by Derek Bell and Stefan Bellof, was 10 laps. The second place was for Thierry Boutsen and the seventh for Jacky Ickx, also on the road with a then dominant Porsche 956.

Ayrton Senna’s personal Porsche 911

Ayrton Senna in his personal 1987 Porsche 911 Cabriolet
Ayrton Senna in his personal 1987 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

In 1987 Ayrton Senna bought his personal Porsche 911 3.2 Cabriolet. The car is believed to be painted yellow and  was transformed into a turbo look by a later owner. However, it is believed the current owner is giving the car it’s original looks again.