I I don't argue that he was a brilliant driver, probably, technically, one of the best , but from what I have read he struck me back in the day and now as a flawed character who had too high an opinion of his own importance to be healthy.
I'm a huge Senna fan.......always have been. When i first started watching F1 -on a tiny CRT tv with washed out colours- he already had god like status/myth around him. I asked my father: who's that guy that seems to be lapping everyone all the time? My father answered: That's Ayrton Senna, a Brazilian pilot. He's fearless, has perfect car control under all conditions and is ridiculously fast. My father soon dozed off because the race was boring
i watched the entire race and haven't stopped watching F1 races. Even when MS was winning everything all the time....i would whinge on AO that it's boring and predictable and that i will stop watching.....and then i would watch the next race and whinge again afterwards(that was a looong period
anyway......i won't go through 'why senna IS the greatest f1 driver' speech again.
Instead, i want to focus on what people seem to continually say about him.
dirty driver - the quiet, sweet talking Prost was the dirtiest of them all. People seem to miss this little fact in all their observations about senna. Prost fought his battles away from the track; he fought them via politics and senna simply couldn't compete as successfully as prost in skullduggery. And, F1 was indeed a dirty spectacle back then(google Jean-Marie Balestre
)....it's a bit cleaner today
ruthless - of course he was ruthless. He had to be. He came into F1 as a young innocent kid. The senna legend was born at monaco in that little crappy toleman hart (http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/images/large/3293-11.jpg
) when senna was simply destroying everyone in wet weather. that was his first taste of political skullduggery as well. (race was stopped after Prost frantic waiving/pleading with senna closing in fast ; prost apparently did that to tell his mechanics that the brakes vibrated
) So, F1 was ruthless back then and Senna had to grow up and learn fast. He was robbed of a win in his first season.
his religion/god: no comment......although, this was very well exploited by prost....he tried to portrait senna like a religious fanatic/mad man.
never challenged -
his biggest challenge was...himself
he always tried to beat his own times/laps/races etc He also struggled against the politics of the day as well as crappy cars e.g. that williams basket case that he died in.
forget the documentaries and senna interviews and interviews on other people discussing senna.....just grab all the footage you can of senna driving cars......it's just......it's simply magnificent to watch...sheer joy.