RE: Senna at Suzuka: Time For Tea?

RE: Senna at Suzuka: Time For Tea?

Thursday 2nd October 2014

Senna at Suzuka: Time For Tea?

That Suzuka qualifying lap revisited with an odd tribute



The Japanese fascination with the motor racing phenomenon that was Ayrton Senna shows no sign of abating. Here's a 'lap of Suzuka' that Honda put together based on the actual telemetry of Senna's 1989 McLaren. You'll understand why we've put that in speech marks when you watch it.

Now, we like a fantasy vid as much as the next website, and you have to admire the effort and huge expense that's doubtless gone into this one. But it's hard to ignore a sense of anti-climax at the end, the sneaking feeling that 'effort in' hasn't quite translated into 'enjoyment out'. There'll be an equation for it, most likely, one that you could probably also use to calculate the fun factor of a Benelux domino-toppling event.

Maybe we're being unfair. Maybe it was amazing if you were there, as a real person rather than a gurning extra. But even then, does it really compare to the original in-car footage of the man himself hauling the legendary MP4/5 around Suzuka at frankly ridiculous speeds?

This vid is well known to PHers, but in case you're seeing it here for the first time, do not adjust your monitors: he really is going that fast. Senna's ability to drive on the edge, steering through some of the highest-G corners in F1 racing with one hand while executing lightning gearchanges with the other, was nothing short of freakish.

And, as Senna's regular mirror checks indicate, he wasn't the only one performing at a superhuman level in F1 cockpits back then. Admittedly, the Brazilian finished his pole-setting quali lap a yawning 1.5 seconds quicker than second-place McLaren teammate Prost, so by any standards Ayrton was something special, but his fellow drivers were all putting themselves through the same wringer. The physical stress of driving a manual F1 car over the full 53-lap GP must have been immense. How did they do it? As that well-known paragon of physical fitness James Hunt drily noted at the 1990 Mexican GP, "if you want to know what 4.7 G is, just imagine yourself lying on the floor with 3.7 Nigel Mansells on top of you."

What happened in the actual '89 Japanese GP is now part of racing folklore. From the start, Prost got the jump on Senna. Senna eventually caught the Professor, leading to a controversial crash which took the pair of them off. Prost retired, but Senna got back going with the help of some marshalls. He then drove like a banshee to catch and pass the new leader, Nannini, and take the chequered flag. Sadly, he was disqualified on what was perceived by Senna, Ron Dennis and quite a few others as an irrelevant technicality. Prost went on to win the '89 Drivers' Championship.

Honda's phantom lap was one of those ideas that would have sounded great in an executive karaoke bar in Roppongi after the fifth or sixth Johnny Walker, but whether it should have gone any further than that, we'll leave you to judge.

OK everyone, that's a wrap. Er, can someone clear up please? Thanks.

See the 'Ghost lap' here.

And the original qualifying here.

Author
Discussion

43034

Original Poster:

2,769 posts

109 months

Thursday 2nd October 2014
quotequote all
Not too sure on that vid but the original is superb.

What a great man/driver.


Monaco 84.

dlockhart

434 posts

113 months

Thursday 2nd October 2014
quotequote all
Was this video not 'doing the rounds' last year?

Dave Hedgehog

10,180 posts

145 months

Thursday 2nd October 2014
quotequote all
that looks utterly terrifying compared to the modern cars


Chris Type R

4,358 posts

190 months

Thursday 2nd October 2014
quotequote all
Car sounds really good in the real video.

toerag

683 posts

73 months

Thursday 2nd October 2014
quotequote all
drag F1 back to the 80's by the scruff of it's neck.


  • that first corner tongue out
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Lost soul

8,712 posts

123 months

Thursday 2nd October 2014
quotequote all
Dave Hedgehog said:
that looks utterly terrifying compared to the modern cars
So much more work being put into it

-crookedtail-

1,325 posts

131 months

Thursday 2nd October 2014
quotequote all
That noise!! cloud9

Ari

15,491 posts

156 months

Thursday 2nd October 2014
quotequote all
dlockhart said:
Was this video not 'doing the rounds' last year?
Yup, seen that one ages ago.

Dave Hedgehog

10,180 posts

145 months

Thursday 2nd October 2014
quotequote all
Lost soul said:
Dave Hedgehog said:
that looks utterly terrifying compared to the modern cars
So much more work being put into it
no computers, and the commitment, balls the size of space hoppers


the corner at 2.35!!!!

Edited by Dave Hedgehog on Thursday 2nd October 16:59

graeme4130

3,331 posts

122 months

Thursday 2nd October 2014
quotequote all
Dave Hedgehog said:
that looks utterly terrifying compared to the modern cars
I agree, that looks wild
F1 now days looks so smooth and safe in comparison

Asterix

24,438 posts

169 months

Thursday 2nd October 2014
quotequote all
I've seen that video hundreds of times and it new gets old, it never gets boring and it always thrills me.

n4aat

438 posts

153 months

Thursday 2nd October 2014
quotequote all
I can't see many of the current crop of drivers being able or willing to drive one of those cars quite that fast.

PhantomPH

3,022 posts

166 months

Thursday 2nd October 2014
quotequote all
Ari said:
dlockhart said:
Was this video not 'doing the rounds' last year?
Yup, seen that one ages ago.
A year ago called...it wants....etc.

Gandahar

6,393 posts

69 months

Thursday 2nd October 2014
quotequote all
Suzuka pah, 17 year old kids can drive it in a Formula 1 car it's easy.

RenOHH

6,961 posts

139 months

Thursday 2nd October 2014
quotequote all
PhantomPH said:
Ari said:
dlockhart said:
Was this video not 'doing the rounds' last year?
Yup, seen that one ages ago.
A year ago called...it wants....etc.
It's not bizarre at all either. I think it's cool and it gave me a few goose bumps.

"Maybe we're being unfair."

Yes, you are.

Not sure where they got the idea it was a tribute to 25 years, when the video is dated Sept 2013.

Randy Winkman

6,423 posts

130 months

Thursday 2nd October 2014
quotequote all
Lost soul said:
Dave Hedgehog said:
that looks utterly terrifying compared to the modern cars
So much more work being put into it
It just seems faster (even if it isn't) and is miles more impressive. The way the car seems to skit around, the gear changing and, to be honest, the scratchy film all add loads to it. And perhaps the driver being much nearer the front of the car makes a difference too.

r11co

6,244 posts

171 months

Thursday 2nd October 2014
quotequote all
PhantomPH said:
Ari said:
dlockhart said:
Was this video not 'doing the rounds' last year?
Yup, seen that one ages ago.
A year ago called...it wants....etc.
It was a pointless exercise a year ago too!

ETA - interesting to note the third (T) car sitting in the pit garage on the original vid.

Edited by r11co on Thursday 2nd October 17:51

artdealer

243 posts

154 months

Thursday 2nd October 2014
quotequote all
Yes! thought the same. How fast you reckon around that corner? One gear down from top flat out, 170mph?


Dave Hedgehog said:
no computers, and the commitment, balls the size of space hoppers


the corner at 2.35!!!!

Edited by Dave Hedgehog on Thursday 2nd October 16:59

NGK210

717 posts

86 months

Thursday 2nd October 2014
quotequote all
He brakes so late and hard for Casio Triangle - ie, the final chicane - that he has to throw in a damn hefty dab of (one-handed) oppo to catch the back-end - erk alors! bow

stephen300o

15,463 posts

169 months

Thursday 2nd October 2014
quotequote all
Sixteen year old ain't doing that.