Ayrton Senna

Ayrton Senna

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Discussion

Eric Mc

115,007 posts

230 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Maybe he should have done a Lauda that day - just walked away.

Crafty_

12,802 posts

165 months

Tuesday
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Exactly what Watkins told him Eric, but whatever deliberations were going on in his head meant he just wasn't ready to.

From what I've read this was just a culmination of things building up around him. He apparently wanted to marry Adriane, but his family didn't like her and wanted him to marry Xuxa (the tv presenter/singer) who he had previously dated, but both of their busy schedules had meant the relationship hadn't worked out. At his funeral the family made Adriane sit on the other side of the church with friends etc, Xuxa sat with them.

On top of that he was finding F1 ever more stressful and the move to Williams was a culture shock after all those years at McLaren. Williams has a long history of being a pretty unfriendly place for a driver.

Jo Rameriz said that he encountered Ayrton at one of the races and he was looking a bit lost. Turned out that no-one from Williams had fixed up a transfer to a hotel or airport (I don't remember which) for him - it wasn't a big thing, he was just used to someone sorting it out for him at McLaren (in fact, it was Jo that often did that sort of thing for drivers). Lots of readjustment and change and he wasn't in his comfort zone.

I actually think the last few months of his life were quite a sad and difficult time for him.

entropy

4,135 posts

168 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
What killed Senna was a piece of suspension piercing his skull. Recreate the accident a dozen times and you'd probably get a dozen outcomes and trajectories of debris and broken parts.


Eric Mc said:
Maybe he should have done a Lauda that day - just walked away.
This is why Lauda and Prost are heroes. Having big balls made of steel is just about how quickly you can go but having convictions and principles and living up to them with the right moral compass even if it may appear as a weakness to others.

ELUSIVEJIM

Original Poster:

8,111 posts

116 months

Tuesday
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Eric Mc said:
This has been debated forever on PH.

Too many people seem to imbue Senna with God like qualities and can't countenance the fact that he might have made an error or stepped over the limit. After all, Gods have no limits.

Senna was not God. He was a great driver - but like all drivers, he occasionally made mistakes.
It's nothing to do with Senna and "God-like qualities" it's the fact a driver was negotiating a curve that he was about to exit yet went straight on.

Everyone knew the risks at Tamburello and the last thing you wanted to happen was to have a mechanical issue. As drivers have stated it was a fast curve, not a corner.

The one car on the grid that had a very poor steering column adjustment is the one that goes straight on killing the driver. Newey himself stated it was not IF but WHEN the column broke but then says it wasn't the column.

Make of it what you like as we all have different opinions.

Thankfully in the end the Court came to the correct verdict.





Crafty_

12,802 posts

165 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
An F1 car, particularly of that era if bottomed out, loses aero and will not stick to the ground for love nor money.

Its why after the accident "the plank" was mandated, somewhat crude but simple device to prevent the car totally grounding out and thus losing its aero.

ELUSIVEJIM

Original Poster:

8,111 posts

116 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
entropy said:
What killed Senna was a piece of suspension piercing his skull. Recreate the accident a dozen times and you'd probably get a dozen outcomes and trajectories of debris and broken parts.


Eric Mc said:
Maybe he should have done a Lauda that day - just walked away.
This is why Lauda and Prost are heroes. Having big balls made of steel is just about how quickly you can go but having convictions and principles and living up to them with the right moral compass even if it may appear as a weakness to others.
Prost?? Principles?

entropy

4,135 posts

168 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
ELUSIVEJIM said:
Prost?? Principles?
Didtn't want to start the 1989 Australian GP. Didn't he retire out of his own volition after a few laps?

entropy

4,135 posts

168 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Crafty_ said:
An F1 car, particularly of that era if bottomed out, loses aero and will not stick to the ground for love nor money.

Its why after the accident "the plank" was mandated, somewhat crude but simple device to prevent the car totally grounding out and thus losing its aero.
When a car bottoms out at high speed it loses grip and regains grip and goes straight on. Seen it a lot at the first corner of Silverstone with LMPs, Indycars on ovals.

Gary C

7,762 posts

144 months

Tuesday
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ELUSIVEJIM said:
This was the same with Senna especially when his head moved but I was very much mistaken.
That bit when his head moved, sticks in my mind too.

A flash of hope that didn't last.

ELUSIVEJIM

Original Poster:

8,111 posts

116 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
entropy said:
ELUSIVEJIM said:
Prost?? Principles?
Didtn't want to start the 1989 Australian GP. Didn't he retire out of his own volition after a few laps?
Prost was a driver who seemed to try and use political actions off track and on to benefit himself.

Alas, it didn't work for him that day.

Senna and Mansell in agreement regarding Prost and the Williams drive for 1993. Footage below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFZKkK6odgY

ELUSIVEJIM

Original Poster:

8,111 posts

116 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Gary C said:
ELUSIVEJIM said:
This was the same with Senna especially when his head moved but I was very much mistaken.
That bit when his head moved, sticks in my mind too.

A flash of hope that didn't last.
Yes, I remember the commentary team mentioning the head movement but it then looked more like twitching which was not good.

After seeing him moved and what was on the track and then the fact Watkins didn't travel with Senna it was pretty clear.

They knew he was dead as soon as he was extracted.

Really after that the race should never have restarted.

entropy

4,135 posts

168 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
ELUSIVEJIM said:
Prost was a driver who seemed to try and use political actions off track and on to benefit himself.
I agree that Prost was devious political so and so but in this instance of not wanting to race at a soaking wet Australian GP to benefit what? He had nothing to lose. He already won the WDC. Leaving McLaren to join Ferrari.

Drivers were threatened by their team managers for their contractual obligations to race, by Bernie because of the worldwide TV audience. Nelson Piquet has gone to say that his biggest regret was not following or backing up Prost.


GCH

3,024 posts

167 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
entropy said:
ELUSIVEJIM said:
Prost?? Principles?
Didtn't want to start the 1989 Australian GP. Didn't he retire out of his own volition after a few laps?
In 89 he had already won the championship after taking Senna out at Suzuka... easy to have principals and retire when you don't actually need to finish.
It was also his final race for Mclaren...what were they going to do, fire him for not racing? hehe

DeejRC

2,020 posts

47 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Ah, still the same old narrative of evil political Prost.
Prost and Senna were effectively as political as each other - my Lord was Senna political!

Prost and Senna were two sides of the same coin. They were both very different and very similar. I would, and long have, argue the defining difference between them was Lauda. Prost learned something from a man with a different perspective to anybody else on the grid. It gave him a touch of that different context. Senna did not, but I have come to believe that towards the end he was both starting to realise and then the impact of earlier that weekend to open the fissure.

When you deal in the edge of infinity, the margins are both tiny and huge. This is true for both engineering and philosophy. I would say the life and death of Ayrton Senna encompasses both of those. What times we lived through.


Eric Mc

115,007 posts

230 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
ELUSIVEJIM said:
It's nothing to do with Senna and "God-like qualities" it's the fact a driver was negotiating a curve that he was about to exit yet went straight on.

Everyone knew the risks at Tamburello and the last thing you wanted to happen was to have a mechanical issue. As drivers have stated it was a fast curve, not a corner.

The one car on the grid that had a very poor steering column adjustment is the one that goes straight on killing the driver. Newey himself stated it was not IF but WHEN the column broke but then says it wasn't the column.

Make of it what you like as we all have different opinions.

Thankfully in the end the Court came to the correct verdict.
Thankfully?

What is there to give thanks for?

Eric Mc

115,007 posts

230 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
DeejRC said:
Ah, still the same old narrative of evil political Prost.
Prost and Senna were effectively as political as each other - my Lord was Senna political!

Prost and Senna were two sides of the same coin. They were both very different and very similar. I would, and long have, argue the defining difference between them was Lauda. Prost learned something from a man with a different perspective to anybody else on the grid. It gave him a touch of that different context. Senna did not, but I have come to believe that towards the end he was both starting to realise and then the impact of earlier that weekend to open the fissure.

When you deal in the edge of infinity, the margins are both tiny and huge. This is true for both engineering and philosophy. I would say the life and death of Ayrton Senna encompasses both of those. What times we lived through.
It was pure mythology - with the hero paying the ultimate price.

It is that fine line between life and death which has always made the difference between sports and games - as so well put by Ernest Hemmingway -


"There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games.”




Crafty_

12,802 posts

165 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Watkins said that when he was treating Ayrton he let out a little sigh and Sid always thought that effectively his soul left him at that moment.

In terms of the comments above about Prost, he tried to undermine Mansell at Ferrari. Prost was fluent in Italian and carried a lot fo influence in the team. Convinced that Mansell's car was superior to his he got the mechanics to swap the cars over so he got Nigels for the '90 British GP.

Having been tipped off and confirming (checked chassis plates..) and being the belligerent sort, Mansell out qualified Prost by just under a second and led the race until the gearbox started playing up, allowing Prost to take the lead (and ultimately the win), Nigel finally retired on lap 57.

From everything I've read, Prost always hated the wet, no surprise he didn't want to run in Oz '89.

He would use everything possible to defeat his rivals, no limit. Its suggested that the shenanigans at Suzuka in 1990 were all because Prost and Balestre were in cahoots. Senna felt wronged and quite plainly told anyone and everyone what would happen, no-one took any notice. He saw it as standing up for himself. I've seen footage of a drivers meeting/briefing where Ayrton quite calmly made his point and more or less said "this isn't on" and leaves.

Although Ayrton liked to see himself as fearless and project that image to rivals he's also the guy who got Watkins to teach him basic CPR and assistance, IIRC after Donnelly's accident. When Erik Comas had his crash at Spa, Sid arrived to find Senna tenderly holding Comas's head, reporting he'd done everything Sid had shown him - clear the wairway, checking breathing/pulse etc (and he had, correctly too). Yet this is the same guy who literally drove through Prost.

I don't think its too controversial to say that Ayrton was naturally a better driver, but tempermant and emotion occasionally got the better of him, had he been a bit more calculating like Prost he'd have been even better. I think it was Ramirez ( who dealt with both drivers through '88) that said Ayrton drove with his heart, Prost with his head.

We were robbed really, we never got to see Senna and Schumacher at it full tilt. I think it would have been fascinating.



Edited by Crafty_ on Tuesday 4th May 16:23

DeejRC

2,020 posts

47 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Right, let’s deal with this myth once and for all.

JMB. This man was hated/loathed/detested by both Prost and Senna. They were at war with him. It is the one subject that they were in complete agreement on. For his sake, JMB loathed them both equally back. The 3 of them were at war for years. JMB took every opportunity he could to stir, mix and fk with either or both of them. Most of the time he did it openly. Usually egged on by Piquet for sts n giggles because he thought it hilarious and he didn’t give a fk about anyone except himself anyway.

As hard as it is to think now, ppl either forget or don’t realise the collective sign of relief that happened, the celebration when Spanky Max eventually ousted JMB. It was heralded as the dawn of a new age.

As for Mansell, the only other person with an ability to bugger things up for himself that was in the same league was big John Surtees. The difference being though that Surtees was in a different talent class to Mansell.

Eric, you and I rarely agree on much, but I concur entirely with your Hemingway reference.

Eric Mc

115,007 posts

230 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Oh, I wouldn't say that. I agree with pretty much everything you have just said.

Crafty_

12,802 posts

165 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
DeejRC said:
JMB. This man was hated/loathed/detested by both Prost and Senna. They were at war with him. It is the one subject that they were in complete agreement on. For his sake, JMB loathed them both equally back. The 3 of them were at war for years. JMB took every opportunity he could to stir, mix and fk with either or both of them. Most of the time he did it openly. Usually egged on by Piquet for sts n giggles because he thought it hilarious and he didn’t give a fk about anyone except himself anyway.

As hard as it is to think now, ppl either forget or don’t realise the collective sign of relief that happened, the celebration when Spanky Max eventually ousted JMB. It was heralded as the dawn of a new age.
Out of interest do you have any references to articles/books etc that takes this viewpoint ? its not one I've ever heard.