Ayrton Senna

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Ayrton Senna
Ayrton Senna Imola 1989 Cropped.jpg
Nationality Brazilian
Formula One World Championship career
Active years 1984 - 1994
Teams Toleman Hart, Lotus, McLaren Honda, Williams
Races 162
Championships 3 (1988, 1990, 1991)
Wins 41
Podiums 80
Pole positions 65
Fastest laps 19
First race 1984 Brazilian Grand Prix
First win 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix
Last win 1993 Australian Grand Prix
Last race 1994 San Marino Grand Prix

Ayrton Senna da Silva (March 21, 1960 – May 1, 1994), better known as Ayrton Senna, was a Brazilian Formula 1 driver who won the championship three times, in 1988, 1990 and in 1991. He died in an accident that took place on the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, better known as Imola, in the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. He is considered by many people to be the most skilled driver in the history of motor racing.

Life before Formula 1 Racing[change | change source]

Senna was born in São Paulo, a city in Brazil. When he was four years old, he first got into a kart. When he was 13, he entered a karting competition for the first time. A fun fact is that he started his first kart race on pole position. The start places were written on pieces of paper and put in a driver's helmet, and he drew number one. Because he was a lot lighter than the other racers, he was much faster than all of them. He won the South American Kart Championships in 1977 and was runner-up in the World Championship, but he never won it.

In 1981 he raced in the British Formula Ford 1600 championship, and won it as well. He also changed his name to Senna, since da Silva is used a lot in Brazil.

In 1982 Senna won two European championships; the European and the British Formula Ford 2000. After testing with Williams, McLaren, Brabham and Toleman, he got a place within the Toleman team for the 1984 Formula One season.

Into Formula One[change | change source]

The Toleman team was a small team compared to teams like Williams, McLaren and Brabham. Even though, the team built a car good enough to let Senna impress with his talents. Ayrton Senna scored his first championship point on April 7, 1984 at the South African Grand Prix. Three races later, Senna impressed at the Monaco Grand Prix, where it was raining. Senna started on the 13th position, but right after the race started, he soon was gaining position after position on the track that is known for its small roads. On the 19th lap, he took second place from Niki Lauda and was making up a lot of time to the race leader, Alain Prost. It started to rain harder and the race was stopped on the 31st lap. Even though almost everyone agrees Senna should have won the race, Senna had a result to be proud of. In the rest of the season he would finish third place in two races, the Britisch and the Portuguese Grand Prix. He finished his first year in Formula One racing on a shared 9th position and 13 points, sharing his 9th position with Nigel Mansell.

Senna did not just race in Formula One that year. He also co-drove a Porsche 956 with Henri Pescarolo and Stefan Johansson in the 1000km Nürburgring race. He also raced in a race to celebrate the opening of the new Nürburgring. He won this race.

Ayrton's Years With Lotus[change | change source]

The following year, joined the Lotus team, and many thought he would be able to meet his potential. The other driver for Lotus was Elio De Angelis. Ayrton scored his first of 65 pole positions in his career during the Brazilian Grand Prix, but was not able to win the race. He retired with an electrical problem after 48 laps. He did not had to wait a long time for his first ever victory in Formula 1, however, because he won the next race, the Portuguese Grand Prix starting off from pole position again. He showed his true talent driving in such bad weather which even later champion Alain Prost could not race in (he spun into a wall). The rest of the season was not too good for Senna though. He scored a lot of points but often retired because of mechanical problems. He won the Belgian Grand Prix in another wet race and finished 4th at the end of the season, scoring 38 points total. He also took two first places, two second places, two third places and seven pole positions.

His second season with Lotus, in 1986, was better than his first. The Lotus Car was a lot more reliable. He finished second in the Brazilian Grand Prix, with only Nelson Piquet being faster than Ayrton. He even took the lead in the World Championship standings during the Spanish Grand Prix after managing to keep Nigel Mansell away from stealing the victory. The gap between both drivers was only 14 thousand of a second. He did not have a lot of time to enjoy his lead, however, because his Lotus did not have the reliability Ayrton needed to chase after the title.

Complete Formula One results[change | change source]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Team Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 WDC Points[1]
1984 Toleman Group Motorsport Toleman TG183B Hart 1.5 L S4 T BRA
Ret
RSA
6
BEL
6
SMR
DNQ
9th 13
Toleman TG184 FRA
Ret
MON
2
CAN
7
DET
Ret
DAL
Ret
GBR
3
GER
Ret
AUT
Ret
NED
Ret
ITA
EUR
Ret
POR
3
1985 John Player Special Team Lotus Lotus 97T Renault EF15 1.5 L V6 T BRA
Ret
POR
1
SMR
7
MON
Ret
CAN
16
DET
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
10
GER
Ret
AUT
2
NED
3
ITA
3
BEL
1
EUR
2
RSA
Ret
AUS
Ret
4th 38
1986 John Player Special Team Lotus Lotus 98T Renault EF15 1.5 L V6 T BRA
2
ESP
1
SMR
Ret
MON
3
BEL
2
CAN
5
DET
1
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
2
HUN
2
AUT
Ret
ITA
Ret
POR
4
MEX
3
AUS
Ret
4th 55
1987 Camel Team Lotus Honda Lotus 99T Honda EF15B 1.5 L V6 T BRA
Ret
SMR
2
BEL
Ret
MON
1
DET
1
FRA
4
GBR
3
GER
3
HUN
2
AUT
5
ITA
2
POR
7
ESP
5
MEX
Ret
JPN
2
AUS
DSQ
3rd 57
1988 Honda Marlboro McLaren McLaren MP4/4 Honda RA168E 1.5 L V6 T BRA
DSQ
SMR
1
MON
Ret
MEX
2
CAN
1
DET
1
FRA
2
GBR
1
GER
1
HUN
1
BEL
1
ITA
10
POR
6
ESP
4
JPN
1
AUS
2
1st 90 (94)
1989 Honda Marlboro McLaren McLaren MP4/5 Honda RA109E 3.5 L V10 BRA
11
SMR
1
MON
1
MEX
1
USA
Ret
CAN
7
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
1
HUN
2
BEL
1
ITA
Ret
POR
Ret
ESP
1
JPN
DSQ
AUS
Ret
2nd 60
1990 Honda Marlboro McLaren McLaren MP4/5B Honda RA100E 3.5 L V10 USA
1
BRA
3
SMR
Ret
MON
1
CAN
1
MEX
20
FRA
3
GBR
3
GER
1
HUN
2
BEL
1
ITA
1
POR
2
ESP
Ret
JPN
Ret
AUS
Ret
1st 78
1991 Honda Marlboro McLaren McLaren MP4/6 Honda RA121E 3.5 L V12 USA
1
BRA
1
SMR
1
MON
1
CAN
Ret
MEX
3
FRA
3
GBR
4
GER
7
HUN
1
BEL
1
ITA
2
POR
2
ESP
5
JPN
2
AUS
1
1st 96
1992 Honda Marlboro McLaren McLaren MP4/6B Honda RA122E 3.5 L V12 RSA
3
MEX
Ret
4th 50
McLaren MP4/7A BRA
Ret
ESP
9
SMR
3
MON
1
CAN
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
2
HUN
1
BEL
5
ITA
1
POR
3
JPN
Ret
AUS
Ret
1993 Marlboro McLaren McLaren MP4/8 Ford HBE7 3.5 L V8 RSA
2
BRA
1
EUR
1
SMR
Ret
ESP
2
MON
1
CAN
18
FRA
4
GBR
5
GER
4
HUN
Ret
BEL
4
ITA
Ret
POR
Ret
JPN
1
AUS
1
2nd 73
1994 Rothmans Williams Renault Williams FW16 Renault RS6 3.5 L V10 BRA
Ret
PAC
Ret
SMR
Ret
MON
ESP
CAN
FRA
GBR
GER
HUN
BEL
ITA
POR
EUR
JPN
AUS
NC 0

References[change | change source]

  1. Up until 1990, not all points scored by a driver contributed to their final World Championship tally (see point scoring systems for more information). Numbers without parentheses are Championship points; numbers in parentheses are total points scored.

Other websites[change | change source]

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