Photo by PSParrot
At last Ayrton Senna brought up his career to Formula-One in 1984. Young Brazilian driver entried 15 races except for Italian GP due to his transfer problem of the next season. In 1981 he got the championship of F.F.1600 UK, and then European people began to pay attetions to his remarkable driving as a genius driver. This talented driver became the Formula-Three champion and his dream of taking part in Formula-One had come true. He spoke up with his driving style in public, “There is nothing worse than 2nd place.” Despite pole-position in qualifying session, Ayrton sometimes retired the race due to a crash. In terms of his team competitiveness, there was a big gap between Toleman and top ranked team to win the race. However, his ambitious driving of aiming at victory had been highly admired.
Senna was not able to finish his debut race in Brazil GP, however, a young likely rookie got sixth place as early as 2nd race in South Africa. In this race he left episode that Ayrton was pulled out from his cockpit after running across the finishing line because he fainted in distress.
The sixth GP in Monaco introduced his name to the outside world. Although competitors crashed for the heavy rain, Ayrton Senna came up to the second place with his outstanding ability, starting from 13th position on the grid. However, the race was stopped due to the dangerous condition in driving rain (Ref. Monaco in Heavy Rain). His driving technique stood out even in the difficult track like Monaco. The accomplishment of the Brazilian hopeful doriver helped himself to move to Lotus in 1985.
|1||3/25||Brazil||Toleman TG 183B||Hart 415T||16||R||Turbo trouble|
|6||6/3||Monaco||Toleman TG 184||〃||13||2|
|14||9/9||Italy||No entry due to his transfer issue|
World Championship Classification: 9th with 13 points
Points per race, average: 0.81
Photo by Jerry Lewis-Evans
Lotus had been the prestige team of long standing, however, they hadn’t have more competitive machine than top teams such as Williams, McLaren and Ferrari. Anyway Senna got the new competitive machine than Toleman last season, then he showed his ability to compete with high ranked teams’ driver day by day.
At the first GP in Brazil he unfortunately had an electrical trouble to stop the race, however, he finish the race as early as the 2nd GP in Portugal with Pole-to-win, recording the fastest lap. That was a perfect and amazing first victory. After the race, he made a joke to the team director Peter who was happy with his victory, “Why are you so suprised? I joined Lotus team to win the race. You seemed as if I can’t receive the top chequered flag!”
After Portugal GP, it was tough doing the 2nd win due to his uncompetitive machine but easy to sit the pole number seven, he managed to win the Belgium GP and then his effort resulted in success ranking 4th place of the final classification. It was Alain Prost that titled in McLaren TAG Porche for 5 wins, and said about him that Ayrton would be no less a driver than his rival, considering his potential. The machine would would have more competitive and reliable a little, he was supposed to catch Prost up in that season.
|1||4/7||Brazil||Lotus 97T||Renault EF4||4||R||Electrical trouble|
|3||5/5||San Marino||〃||〃||1||7||Not finished|
|4||5/19||Monaco||〃||Renault EF4/EF15||1||R||Engine trouble|
World Championship Classification: 4th with 38 points
Number of races lead: 9
Number of laps lead: 270 laps(26.16%)
Number of kilometers lead: 1,325km
Points per race, average: 2.375
Photo by Dima Morozo
Alan Prost titled number two in a McLaren TAG Porche in that year for 4 wins that season as well. Senna’s driving technique was recognized as number one during the person related to Formula-One, however, he still had a problems with his uncompetitive and unreliable machine and was never able to reach the top ranked team such as McLaren and Williams. Especially, he was not satisfied with Renault engine at all, Lotus ace strongly desired the HONDA engin which had a great power enough to pass himself again and again.
Beyond his circumstance, at the Spain GP, he managed to win the race, holding Nigel Mansell who drove the more competitive Williams, and then at the Detroit he pulled off the pole-to-win with his special skills. Not only the person related to F1 but also the fan over the world were attracted attention to his remarkable skills and speed which chased McLaren and Williams with his hard push though Lotus was completely less competitive and reliable.
But he persisted in the middle of podium and he wanted Lotus engineers to improve the engine more and more, saying that Renault engine was good enough to lap one, but not satisfactory to title the champion. His tenacity like that caused to go into partnership with HONDA in 1987.
Arround that season, everybody talked about him that anybody could not reach him at the race if he would had a good weapon.
|1||3/23||Brazil||Lotus 98T||Renault EF15/EF15DP||1||2|
|3||4/27||San Marino||〃||〃||1||R||Wheel bearing|
World Championship Classification: 4th with 55 points
Number of races lead: 8
Number of laps lead: 135 laps(12.93%)
Number of lead: 571km
Points per race, average: 3.438
Photo by Dima Morozo
Lotus got the HONDA engine of Senna’s heart desire. Honda fully entried to Formula-One at the second stage and supplied their eingine to Williams last season, and from 1987s’ season Japanese major engine manufacturer also started to provide the powerful turbo weapon and Satoru Nakajima to Lotus. It was historical event that Ayrton Senna met Honda at that time, then on the history of Japanese motor sports it was also coming new age that Nakajima joined to the prestige of mortor race as the first Japanese full-entried driver.
But the Lotus chassis still couldn’t make the best use of Honda engine due to the active suspension which was new technology but didn’t work well and in progress. Besides, Lotus actually had a trouble with management finance, so secret negotiation between Honda and McLaren was on-going underground.
Ayrton sit the 7 pole-position in 1985 and 8 times in 1986, however, he only got one in 1987 in spite of the powerful engine. Nevertheless, his distinguished skill helped to win the Monaco GP and upcoming Detroit GP in a row. As a result, Nelson Pique Williams driver got the title of world championship, Nigel Mansell at the same team as Pique in 2nd place, and Senna in 3rd place, Alain Prost finished 4th place that season.
He shouldn’t be happy with this result because he made every effort to title. McLaren which was one of the top ranked team announced about the drivers’ line-up at Italy GP as the jointed number-one system both Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna.
|1||4/12||Brazil||Lotus 99T||Honda V6T||4||R||Engine trouble|
|16||11/15||Australia||〃||〃||4||DSQ||Breach of regulations|
World Championship Classification: 3rd with 57 points
Number of races lead: 7
Number of laps lead: 108 laps(10.70%)
Number of lead: 278km
Points per race, average: 3.563
Photo by JJ Adamson
It was one of the most special season for him. HONDA changed the partner from Williams to McLaren in this season. McLaren made the most competitive team itself by Senna jointing to Alain Prost. Senna was welcome to the jointed number-one driver, however, Prost actually was the number one driver because of his actual result as the world chmapion in 1985 and 1986 season. No matter how Ayrton was the actual second driver, he ran the most competitive weapon on the circuit, showing his remarkable ability right and left.
The isolated second driver succeeded in titling for the first time(Ref. Maiden Champion) with his eight victories from San Marino GP, holding Prost to seven wins. Senna da Silva talked his emotion at that time as follows: It was my best moment in my life when I had passed the finishing line and taken the chequered flag!
Senna’s first title provoked the ex-champion driver to reduce to the last extremity, and Prost criticized the team through the mass media that HONDA supplied better engine to Senna than him. Then he kept the distance himself to the second driver. The discord between two genius drivers ironically resulted to liven up the whole Formula-One. On the other hand Senna was suffering badly from the first dirver’s political attack.
|1||4/3||Brazil||McLaren MP4/4.03||Honda V6T||1||DSQ||T-car use|
|2||5/1||San Marino||McLaren MP4/4.1||〃||1||1|
World Championship Classification: WINNER with 90 points
Number of races lead: 12
Number of laps lead: 552 laps(53.64%)
Number of lead: 2,671km
Points per race, average: 5.875
Photo by madagascarica
It seemed that Senna’s age had come to Formula-One because of his first champion last year by winning in a close game, however, the first driver Alain Prost took back the title this season with saving his face. Starting from the pole position 13 times, he won only the six races at the final. In contrast Alain recaptured the title who got only 4 wins.
The accident of Japan GP was a great shock to us. Senna’s car collided with Prost from the side at the chicane to pass because Ayrton must win this race to title this season at the final round in Australia. Both cars stopped with twisting to the escaping zone of the chicane(Ref. Nightmare Chicane).
Prost got off his machine that instant, in contrast, Senna was back on the track and continued to run toward a gleam of hope and took the first chequered flag. After the race, the race steward judged him disqualified for the reason why he didn’t properly pass the chicane corner at the 47th lap. As a result, this qualification had taken the world championship title away from Prost in three years.
Around this season everybody talked about the intense battle between two drivers that it was the war between Europe and non-Europe, and its battle aroused much controversy. It was 1989 season that Prost dedicated his driving skill more and more, on one hand Senna gave a lot of his time and effort to the speed.
|1||3/26||Brazil||McLaren MP4/5||Honda V10-RA109||1||11|
|15||10/22||Japan||〃||〃||1||DSQ||Didn’t pass chicane|
World Championship Classification: 2nd with 60 points
Number of races lead: 13
Number of laps lead: 487 laps(46.87%)
Number of lead: 2,301km
Points per race, average: 3.75
Photo credit: Driving.ca
Last off-season Alain Prost left the jointed number one drivers’ system of McLaren with a term of reproach and transferred to Ferrari, then the battle between two surprising pilots got bogged down beyond retrieval. McLaren had more competitive machine than Ferrari, however, Ferrari also succeeded in improving their car parallel to McLaren, therefore they entered into intense competition for not only the title of the world championship but also their pride.
The terrible Japan GP(Ref. Victory crash) again. Turning face about their posion last season, Senna topped the championship point standings as of Spain GP, however, Prost also had made efforts to come up to Senna within his grasp.
Japan GP would be a decisive race to decide the outcome of the season championship. That race ended all too soon in opening lap. Right after two drivers leaving the front-row grid, Ayrton Senna who was overtook by Prost rushed into the side of Prost’s machine at the first corner of Suzuka. Both went off the track and got off the machine soon. Senna was easily the most successful in the world champion. He was suffering horribly from being blamed that he revenged himself on his enemy with an intentional accident at the 1st corner.
Since this season Senna’s driving skill had been distinguished as God liked him, accepting his ability that nobody would had reached his area even Prost if he would would had ridden the same car as Senna.
|1||3/11||America||McLaren MP4/5B||Honda RA100E||5||1|
|3||5/13||San Marino||〃||〃||1||R||Rear wheel|
|15||10/21||Japan||〃||〃||1||R||Collision with Prost|
World Championship Classification: WINNER with 78 points
Number of races lead: 14
Number of laps lead: 556 laps(52.85%)
Number of lead: 2,536km
Points per race, average: 4.875
Photo by Stuart Seeger
Ferrari had improved their weapon more competitive and reliable, so it was a key factor of the beginning 1991 season that McLaren would be able to keep their ascendancy of MP4/6, but, reversing of it, the Prince of F1 won the opening America GP with his outstanding technique. And he won four straight races until Monaco GP. The first four wins certainly gave the impression of an invisible Senna. As a result his overwhelming victories discouraged Prost’s fighting spirit as early as the beginning of season, then Alain accused repeatedly Ferrari’s engineers of derelictio and tried to shift the blame to them. With an un-competitive car and severe critisism on the team, Prost was completely out of picture. Besides, his failure to win only magnified the fiasco which lead him to leave Ferrari.
At the late season Williams’ car became better than the beginning of season, and Nigel Mansell, returning from retirement, fired up the race and excited the fans. It seemed that his uncrowned days will end with his relentless charge on Senna. So Senn’s second strait title was no easy feat, and he struggled with both the car and engine in spite of the first four wins, and he hard claimed team staffs to make better weapon. That was why the onimous black coulds hung low over the relation between him and the team.
Brazil GP was the most amazing and greateful race in his life. He was so happy that he knocked up his fist to the heaven many times and had a victory champagne himself at the middle of podium. Unfortunately, he couldn’t take the first chequered flag anyway at his country until then. Falling the unexpected accident on him as if God gave him trial, only an available gear of his car was the sixth due to the gearbox trouble around the middle stage of that race. Nobody beleived his miracle beyond human power that he still tried to arrive the finishing line and did it.
|1||3/10||America||McLaren MP4/6||Honda RA121E||1||1|
World Championship Classification: WINNER with 96 points
Number of races lead: 10
Number of laps lead: 466 laps(47.55%)
Number of kilometers lead: 2.060km
Points per race, average: 6
Photo by Iwao
The three world champion Alain Prost who was the best rival of Senna was off this season. The three title holder Ayrton Senna was supposed to title four easily in this season, however, the new strong rival Mansell appeared in front of him with the most competitive high-tech machine Williams FW14B with which had been improved gradually since last season. This monster machine had a powerful and high-powered everlasting engine Renault V10 and the high-performanced active suspension. And Williams showed fully their power to us and kept off another drivers even Senna. Regarding McLaren, their advantage of machine had already lost even though Senna was the remarkable driver, and then they could not develop more sufficient their chassis, as they wanted, to make the most of Honda-powered engine.
The greatest day in his life had come to the uncrowned Nigel at last with his advantage of the monster machine. And Senna ate humble pie with 4th at final classification in this season. In another point of view, Senna had done well with uncompetitive car, so that his victory in Monaco GP stopped Mansell’s straight six and he had no less than three wins.
At the Italy GP Honda officially announced their withdrawal from Forumla-One at the end of season. Honda had been into partnership with Ayrton Senna for six years beyond their business, so that he was depress deeply and had the distrust of the director of McLaren who didn’t try to keep Honda back. We didn’t know if or not Senna had decided to contract with him just before the next season.
|1||3/10||South-Africa||McLaren MP4/6B||Honda RA122E||2||3|
|3||4/28||Brazil||McLaren MP4/7A||〃||3||R||Electrical trouble|
|15||10/20||Japan||〃||Honda RA122E/B||3||R||Engine trouble|
World Championship Classification: 4th with 50 points
Number of races lead: 5
Number of laps lead: 95 laps(9.17%)
Number of lead: 415km
Points per race, average: 3.125
Photo by Martin Lee
The three world champion Alain Prost had been come back to Formula-One at last(Ref. Come back). He came back to the circuit to title four in a year, planning to drive the most reliable Williams machine. On the contrary, the negotiation between McLaren and Ayrton Senna had not reached to an agreement yet at the opening race, so that he was forced to join a race on the spot race by race.
McLaren lost Honda V12 engine last year, so that they had to look for the new parter to compete with Williams, but they failed to get Renault engine and had no option without Ford V8 customer version.
Ayrton definetely knew that he couldn’t fight with Prost in Williams by this engine, however, Prost had got confused with Senna’s two straight victories in Brazil GP and Europe GP at the beginning of season. Senna also won the Monaco GP as five years straight in Monaco. He made a convulsive effort to drive his machine right and left, showing his pride and outstanding skill. Despite his effort, Prost deserved to title four with the most competitive machine.
During this season, Senna had continued to negotiate with Williams to get his seat with expecting Prost retirement this season. And he announced his transfer to Williams off-season and succeed in getting the most competitive Williams machine. But FIA decided some awful changes of the technical regulation on being banned from using the high-tech weapon.
|1||3/10||South-Africa||McLaren MP4/8||Ford V8||2||2|
|4||5/12||San Marino||〃||〃||4||R||Oil leaking|
World Championship Classification: 2nd with 73 points
Number of races lead: 6
Number of laps lead: 290 laps(27.75%)
Number of lead: 1,215km
Points per race, average: 4.563
Photo by Ben Sutherland
Changing the regulation deprived Williams high-tech machine of their advantages. Schumacher Benetton rose shaply in this season and joined into the top ranked team. Senna da Silva got three pole-position at Brazil GP, Pacific GP, and San Marino GP, however, he retired in all races with accident unlike him. After Pacific GP, he said, “My season will start from San Marino GP.” The tragic accident just happened when he showed us his eagerness for the title(Ref. The Longest Day).
Schumacher grew into Senna’s rival and show his remarkable driving and top shape, winning the two straight from Brazil GP. Williams team was disturbed at the loss of the most competitive active suspension as their symbolic advantage due to changed regulations. His patient was running out of his mis-speculation which was supposed to title four with the most competitive machine like Prost four titles.
Ayrton Senna da Silva had 41 victories – the second record in history(in those days), however, he tried to break 51 wins of Prost’s record. We were interested in his recapture to title with the battle between Senna and Schumacher in 1994.
|1||3/27||Brazil||Williams FW16||Renault RS6||1||R||Accident|
|2||4/17||Japan||〃||〃||1||R||Collision with Hakkinen|
The fatal accident at San Marino GP. Announced his death at 6:40pm in the hospital.