ayrton senna – rpmGo.com

Ayrton Senna da Silva was probably the best Formula One driver of all times, despite the fact that there had been other pilots that managed to win more races and championships. The Brazilian racing legend was born on March 21, 1960 and managed to win the F1 championship three times.

Senna’s racing journey began in karting and in 1983 he moved on to the more competitive world of open-wheel racing. Two years later, he won the British Formula 3 championship and in 1984 he debuted in Formula One, behind the wheel of a Toleman-Hart car, before becoming a driver for the legendary Lotus-Renault team. Over the next three seasons, he managed to win six GPs.

Later on, he became a driver for another legendary team, McLaren-Honda, joining Alain Prost in 1988. That year, they’ve won all races, except for one, and Senna grabbed his first F1 title. One year later, Prost got his revenge, managing to win the championship, but Senna responded the next two years, with his second and third title. 1992 was the year when William-Renault began dominating Formula One, but Senna managed to finish the season in 2nd place, winning five GPs.

It all ended dramatically for him on May 1st, 1994 when he crashed his car into a concrete barrier while he was leading the San Marino Grand Prix held at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Italy. That weekend turned out to be a real tragedy, as a day earlier; Roland Ratzenberger was killed after he crashed during the qualifications for the race. These two incidents are considered to be a turning point in the safety of F1, prompting the implementation of various safety measures, along with the reformation of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association.

Ayrton Senna was a great man not only for his epic racing talent, but more for his generosity and goodness. He was a practicing Catholic, and after his tragic death, it was discovered that he had quietly donated millions of dollars to help children in need. Right before his accident, he created the foundation for an organization dedicated to children in Brazil, which later on became the Instituto Ayrton Senna.

The irony is that Senna became more and more worried about the dangers of his dangerous profession and on the morning of his fatal accident he initiated the reformation of the GPDA safety organization as he wanted to work to improve the safety of the sport.

Soon after his death in 1994, the Brazilian soccer team who managed to win the World Cup dedicated its victory to Senna, recognizing his contributions to this sport. In Brazil, the main freeway from the Sao Paulo international airport, along with a tunnel, are named in his honor. In addition, one of the most important freeways in Rio de Janeiro was named “Avenida Ayrton Senna”, while the main road in his resort at Quinta do Lago was also dedicated in his name.

On April 21, 2004, which marked the 10th anniversary of his passing by, more than 10,000 people attended a charity game in a soccer stadium near Imola. All of the money raised there was donated to the Instituto Ayrton Senna. On that same weekend, Bernie Ecclestone acknowledged that he believed Senna was and remained the best Formula One driver he had ever seen.

You all probably know that one of brains behind the epic Honda NSX was Senna himself. During the late 80s, the relationship between him and the Japanese automaker was very close, and the latter asked him to fine-tune the suspension of the NSX. At first, he said that the car’s chassis wasn’t stiff enough so the production version was reinforced in order to meet Senna’s requirements.

Ducati, the famous Italian motorcycle manufacturer produced limited Senna editions of its 916 superbike between 1996 and 1998. During those years, the company was owned by Claudio Castiglioni, who was a very close friend of Senna. Several years later, in 2002, another special edition was dedicated to Senna, the MV Agusta F4 750 Senna. Only 300 bikes were ever made, and all the money obtained from selling them went to the Ayrton Senna Foundation.

The Grand Prix circuit in Adelaide, Australia will remain in history as the last place where he won a race, and in his honor, the first chicane of the track was named the “Senna chicane”. In addition, one of the streets in the suburb of Wingfield is named after him. Some say that the Adelaide circuit was one of Senna’s favorite and he was unhappy to hear that F1 would move from Adelaide to Melbourne.

During one episode of Top Gear that aired on July 25th 2010, the show paid a tribute to Ayrton Senna with Lewis Hamilton driving Senna’s legendary MP4/4 car, the one with which he managed to grab the title back in 1988. In that episode, Jeremy Clarkson revealed that a documentary film will be released in fall 2010.

The storyline of this documentary film revolves around Senna’s life and tragic death. The film follows his struggles both on track against his all-time rival, Alain Prost, and off it, against the politics that had a bad influence on the competition.

We highly recommend watching this documentary film, even though you are not a big fan of motorsport racing. Senna was more than just a very good F1 driver; he was a truly remarkable person with a big heart and an exceptional personality.

There are many F1 drivers that managed to win the championship, but people will always remember Senna for the incredible way in which he managed to win his three titles. Fans will never forget his epic rivalry with Frenchman Alain Prost. I really believe that we won’t be seeing that fierce competition between two talented pilots anytime soon, which is a real shame, because without interesting battles like the ones between these two pilots, F1 or any other motorsport competition, is pretty boring.

Ayrton Senna, you will be missed…

Post tags: Tags: ayrton senna, formula-1

Ayrton Senna died 17 years ago and he is still very well remembered and considered by many as the greatest Formula One driver of all time. I was too little when he raced in F1 and I only managed to see a couple of his races. All I can say is that I think he was the most ambitious driver in the history of F1. His rivalry with Prost is unmatched and the races they had together were unbelievable.

At the 2011 Sundace Film Festival a documentary about his life was shown and was met with critical acclaim. The work of executive producer Manish Pandey and British director Asif Kapaida, tells the story of one of the most famous F1 racers through valuable archive footage. This means that the documentary consists of exciting overtaking maneuvers, incredible crashes and great racing sequences that this competition has ever seen.

According to L.A. Times, the “Senna” documentary not only shows his competitive personality, but also his spiritual side. Manish Pandey told the Sundace audience that he already showed the documentary to Ron Dennis, who is the current chairman at McLaren Automotive and the ex-boss of the highly-acclaimed McLaren Formula One racing team. After seeing “Senna”, Ron Dennis cried for about 10 minutes and after that he spent the next two hours talking about the F1 legend – Ayrton Senna.

The Brazilian pilot managed to win three F1 championships and 33 races overall. He died in a crash at the age of 34 at the San Marino Grand Prix in 1994.

Post tags: Tags: ayrton senna, McLaren, ron-dennis

Ayrton Senna’s 1985 Lotus JPS

The question: “Who is Lotus?” has several answers of equal importance. Lotus is without any doubt one of the most famous sports cars manufacturers in the world and also a successful Formula 1 team that managed to win 73 races in its history with famous drivers like Mario Andretti and Jim Clark.

The origins of the company go back to 1952 when the late Colin Chapman opened a company named “Lotus Engineering Ltd”. In its first years, Lotus competed in sports car categories and by 1958 the company diversified and entered the F1 championship. Team Lotus was created as a separate company from Lotus engineering and went on to dominate the championship. Chapman became famous as an innovator, both in the car design and business as he was the one that introduced the concept of aerodynamics and sponsorship to the sport. Team Lotus won seven constructor’s championships, six drivers’ titles, 73 GP wins as well as over 100 pole-positions.

After the death of Chapman, the Lotus Company during the 80s and 90s wasn’t very successful but the team still was responsible for introducing some of the best drivers, like Nigel Mansell and Mika Hakkinen, both future world champions. In 1985, Team Lotus provided legend Ayrton Senna with his very first racing winning car. All of these successes were not enough for the company which eventually folded in 1994 due to the high debts that new owner David Hunt wasn’t able to pay off.

The Lotus name in Formula One was revived by Tony Fernandez who formed a team named 1Malaysia Racing which he wanted to race in the 2010 F1 championship. He wanted to attract some big names and asked Lotus to use the name for the team. Dany Bahar, Lotus Car boss agreed to Tony’s request as he always wanted on returning the Lotus name to F1. He was a formed brand manager for Ferrari and he immediately recognized the marketing potential of the sport and was hoping to market Lotus just like Ferrari. This method would involve Lotus purchasing a team and rely on television and press coverage to advertise the Lotus Company to the entire world, something Bahar thinks to be more effective than traditional poster and television campaigns.

Tony’s tactic paid off as he managed to attract respected designers like Mark Smith and Mike Gasgoyne plus racing winning drivers like Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen. This team went on becoming the best of the newcomers in 2010 and allowed Fernandez to think about a more promising 2011. With the support of Red Bull’s hydraulic package and gearbox, 2011 looks like a very interesting year for Lotus in F1.

Fans of Lotus think that the strong performances of Fernandez’s team are the continuation of Chapman’s team established 50 years ago. In order to emphasize this connection, Fernandez organized several events, including the 50th anniversary of the company’s first F1 success. At the event, many of the members of the old team Lotus participated to celebrate the anniversary. Fernandez also tried to acquire the rights of the “Team Lotus” name for the next year from David Hunt. This name was the original one of the team which Hunt still owned and he claims that because “Lotus Cars” and “Team Lotus” had always operated as separate firms, Fernandez would not need the permission of Lotus Cars to call his team “Lotus” and as a consequence, wouldn’t be a subject to the Bahar’s demands.

However, Dany didn’t agree to this as he believes that his firm owns the “Group Lotus” and claims that the “Team Lotus” is equally a part as “Lotus Cars”. To sustain his opinion, he took legal actions against Tony Fernandez in order to stop him using the “Team Lotus” name. At the same time, Bahar still was wishing for F1 participation and purchased a stake in the ART Racing group. ART has teams in both GP2 and GP3 competitions and plans on entering F1 somewhere in the upcoming future. Due to lack of funding, the company wasn’t able to participate in the 2010 season but with the help of Bahar, it will most likely enter F1 in 2013 as Lotus ART. 2013 will be the year when there will be massive regulation changes, giving them enough time to prepare for the new restrictions and regulations.

It wasn’t long before Bahar started to doubt regarding if his legal actions will be a success or not and started searching for a possibility to enter Lotus Cars in F1 in 2011. Bahar was aware of the fact that Fernandez doesn’t have any options to stop him naming another team Lotus and he hoped that Fernandez will then realize that it wouldn’t be beneficial for either of the parties to have two teams wearing the same name and as a consequence would sell eventually the “Team Lotus” name to Bahar.

The latter was lucky because Renault was looking at altering the company’s strategy and planned selling 25% of its share in the Formula 1 team and instead begin supplying engines to a couple of teams. It is stated that Bahar wanted to buy Renault’s stake of the F1 team and supply majority shareholder Genni Capital with extra $30 million annually to run the team, using the Lotus Renault name.

This provided Bahar with access to the negotiations and sources say that he requested that Renault stipulate in the contract that Fernandez could only get Renault power units if he agreed to drop the Lotus name. The latter gave up on the Lotus name and Renault announced that it will be supplying engines to 1Malaysia Racing Team.

Fernandez did not give up and he announced that he will be using a black & gold livery on the Lotus cars for the 2011 season. Without any doubt, there will be a Lotus team in F1, but we don’t know if it will be the old Renault team or Fernandez’s team. Either way, it will be more competitive.

Source: FOFF.com

Post tags: Tags: ayrton senna, formula one, Lotus