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#139395 - 13th Oct 2006 9:44pm Ayrton Senna: The Brazilian Professor *****
Dazza Offline
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Registered: 10th Nov 2003
Posts: 2899
Loc: Birkenhead
This topic is about Ayrton Senna the three time World Formula One Champion that sadly died in 1994 in a somewhat controversial manner, some say. This is NOT a copy/paste in anyway; I have researched the facts and figures to help educate people on what a man Ayrton Senna truly was.


I wonít bore you with too many dates/details but as a child he started getting into karting and got good quickly since he was younger/smaller than the others, he was therefore faster. He won a few championships but only ever came runner up in the World Championships.

His racing career started in 1981 when he started in the British Formula Ford 1600 class (he won the championship) and ended up winning the British and European Formula Ford 2000 championships. After such success he decided in 1983 that he would get into F3 and even though he didnít win the championship straight away he gave his rivals a hard time where he was testing cars for Williams, McLaren, Brabham and Toleman.

In 1984 Ayrton Senna began Formula One with the Toleman team, who were less known than the likes of Williams and McLaren but with Ayrton's driving skills he quickly gained respected and won his first ever World Championship in Formula One in April 84. After succeeding with the Toleman team Ayrton decided to move to the Lotus team where he ended up setting a record of 65 pole positions wins, something that has only been beaten by Michael Schumacher. As years passed and more and more being achieved Ayrton left the Lotus team and went to others such as McLaren, Honda and Williams.

It was evident from an early point in his career he was destined to be great and by the time his career ended he had ranked up 41 wins (80 podium finishes), 65 pole positions as mentioned earlier and three World Championships - All within his 10 year career.


At Imola in 1994 the legend of Ayrton Senna ended. As with many superstars there are always various conspiracy theories on what happened so letís lay the ground work. Alot of new regulations affected the F1 cars on how they were run/designed and as always, FIA are out to increase people safety without taking too much away from the sport. They had recently banned active suspension meaning all teams had to redesign the suspension set-up on there cars which led to many breakdowns and accidents.

Ayrton Senna's protťgť Rubens Barrichello was involved in a crash landing him in hospital in the morning of the Imola race. Ayrton was deeply concerned about Barrichello having spent hours at the hospital.

Later that day in Imola, lap 1 contained a crash that set the safety car out (The safety car was out longer than it was supposed to be, allowing the F1 cars tyres to cool down meaning they donít work as efficient and allowing the tyre pressure to decrease) so by the time lap 2 came around, Ayrton Senna was doing 193mph towards a corner when his Williams-Renault veered onto the sand trap reducing his speed to 130mph and straight into a concrete wall.


A neurosurgeon at the race reported "He looked serene. I raised his eyelids and it was clear from his pupils that he had a massive brain injury. We lifted him from the cockpit and laid him on the ground. As we did, he sighed and, although I am totally agnostic, I felt his soul departed at that moment."

What happened was when he was entering the corner his front right tyre and suspension component had became loose and hit Senna on the head and pierced his visor causing the massive head injuries. It may sound strange but a defective suspension set-up doing 190mph has alot of unsprung energy. This has been classed as the most likely reason for Senna's death although an interesting and plausible theory then came around about Senna complaining about his steering position. He wasnít happy with it so they cut it, welded it in its new position and strengthed it. Onboard footage shows that Senna is seen looking down towards his steering moments before the incident making people believe his steering column had came loose as the video also shows that the front wheels did not turn the direction the steering wheel did.

Although this theory cannot be confirmed it holds suspicion as the onboard video has 1.5seconds of footage missing conveniently the same time as when his steering column broke sending Senna into a concrete wall. Simply because this crucial evidence cannot be found, this theory could not be conceived as the truth - Which if proven would mean Williams-Renault would have fell victim to Senna's death and faced manslaughter charges.

Formula One has many heroes and outstanding drivers, many of which were either in competition with Senna OR dreamed to have his success. He will be remembered as one of the all time greats of Formula One.

"Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose." Ayrton Senna


Edited by Dazza (14th Oct 2006 1:35am)
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#139421 - 14th Oct 2006 1:38am Re: Ayrton Senna: The Brazilian Professor [Re: Dazza]
Dazza Offline
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Registered: 10th Nov 2003
Posts: 2899
Loc: Birkenhead
smile
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#139422 - 14th Oct 2006 1:49am Re: Ayrton Senna: The Brazilian Professor [Re: Dazza]
MattLFC Offline
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Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Nice overview of his career there Dazza, well done matey.

I personally believe the steering column theory myself, I saw an in depth documentary on Discovery, made by Discovery and the BBC about the theories and they came to the conclusion that it must have been the steering column after running hundreds of intense computerized and practical simulations of what happened, and what events could have caused it to happen.

IIRC, there was something that happened to the steering column two bends before the crash (i think it was something detected on the onboard computer) that they discovered to be the cause of the accident if it was as they rekon, the steering column.

He was and always will be one of the all time greats of Motor Racing. IMO he was better the Schumey for the simple reason Schumey has only dominated when he has had the fastest and most powerful car on the track. People rave off his driving skills, but you put him in an average car and he struggles. Just like any other driver.

Senna was in a different league altogether with regards to sheer driving skill, he did not the fastest car on the track to impress and push the front runners.

RIP Ayrton Senna.

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#139424 - 14th Oct 2006 3:49am Re: Ayrton Senna: The Brazilian Professor [Re: MattLFC]
DavidB Offline
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Registered: 7th Dec 2003
Posts: 5608
Loc: Bebington, Wirral
What's more, the organisers of the race, should've stopped the grand prix when Roland Ratzenberger was killed in qualifying, but didn't because they would've lost millions of dollars through advertising. So the race went on and Ayrton Senna was killed.
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#139452 - 14th Oct 2006 4:37pm Re: Ayrton Senna: The Brazilian Professor [Re: DavidB]
Scooby Offline
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Registered: 9th Nov 2003
Posts: 5327
Loc: Birkenhead, Wirral.
extreamally interesting topic dazza happy

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#139482 - 14th Oct 2006 10:13pm Re: Ayrton Senna: The Brazilian Professor [Re: Scooby]
spinking Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 11th May 2004
Posts: 5093
Loc: Happy Home
The man was and still is a legend.

I stopped watching f1 after he died.

Hence some of my user names like ebay sennatupac and so on.

Great topic dazza i have some senna stuff if you fancy reading more about the guy.


Edited by tupac (14th Oct 2006 10:14pm)
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#139506 - 15th Oct 2006 12:33am Re: Ayrton Senna: The Brazilian Professor [Re: spinking]
Dazza Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 10th Nov 2003
Posts: 2899
Loc: Birkenhead
Feel free to add information on, It was only 'pointers' that I added and I missed alot of bits out. I knew you were an avid fan Tupac so I thought you'd have some say on this - What do you think happend that day in Imola?
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#139509 - 15th Oct 2006 1:58am Re: Ayrton Senna: The Brazilian Professor [Re: Dazza]
MGCraig Offline
AlfaHolic
Forum Veteran

Registered: 16th Apr 2006
Posts: 5488
Loc: Spital
That was some fascinating stuff..........he may have been dead for a long time, but i can honestly say (without sounding cheesy) that his spirit still lives on, especially in his nephew bruno. Ive seen him racing in the British F3 championship at oulton park, and in his first 2 races in the series and in Britain, he won both of them by a margin of at least 25 seconds. If ya get a chance to see him, do it, cos he wont be hanging round for long, hell be in F1 in no-time...
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#139530 - 15th Oct 2006 11:20am Re: Ayrton Senna: The Brazilian Professor [Re: MGCraig]
BMW Joe Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 30th Apr 2006
Posts: 12369
Loc: Birkenhead
Very interesting topic mate.

I never knew much about him or what happened, but i've learnt quite a bit from this and it makes me want to learn more about what actually happened

I've found a video which talks about the...re interesting.
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#139600 - 16th Oct 2006 12:43am Re: Ayrton Senna: The Brazilian Professor [Re: BMW Joe]
Dazza Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 10th Nov 2003
Posts: 2899
Loc: Birkenhead
I think the general conclusion everyone goes for is that his steering column snapped, he was kept alive and quickly taken to the hospital to avoid Italian law that stats he must die in a controled environment at the hospital in a 'humane' manor, if he was to die at the track then Williams would be guilty for manslaughter - Williams avoided the matter to escape this hence them blaming things such as tyre temperatures and the like.
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