All new PerformanceForums is here

The long-awaited upgrade and server move is complete.

Whinge about shit HERE.

Looking for Tapatalk functionality? See this thread.
See more
See less

Imola - 20 years on

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    part 2
    On Friday afternoon he took pole position for the race in which he died, to increase his record to 65. With a commanding success in his last race for the McLaren team in 1993 he had taken his total of grand prix victories to 41, second only to arch-rival Prost. It still seems utterly inconceivable that more will not follow.

    When Jim Clark died at Hockenheim in 1968 his passing stunning the motor racing world. Chris Amon, one of the few men with the talent to challenge the brilliant Scot, summarised every other driver's feelings when he said: "We were all left feeling totally exposed, vulnerable. We all felt, 'If it can happen to Jimmy, what chance have we got?'" Jackie Stewart said that his death was to motor racing what the atomic bomb had been to the world.

    The cruel events of last weekend at Imola have set the sport back 30 years in terms of the public's perception of its safety, and have plunged it back into such nightmares.

    Ayrton Senna's death during the San Marino Grand Prix has had precisely the same effect as Jimmy's. People are genuinely frightened for the same reasons, for Ayrton had always exuded such an air of mastery and total invincibility, and been able to command the best equipment, that we had always expected him to defy the sort of odds that took Gilles Villeneuve, who so often had to drive beyond the limit to make his cars competitive.

    Cruelly, it is as if Ayrton's career ended when he left McLaren, for 1994 had already been a nightmare before he went to Italy.

    Some will say he was rattled by the progress Michael Schumacher and Benetton had made, that he was pushing just that bit too far. But that was precisely his make up. Push, push, push. Never give up.

    "I am not designed to finish second or third," he once said. "I am designed to win."

    Prost was arguably the only true match for Senna in their era LAT

    He never gave an under-par performance in his life, and would never do anything less than reach out for a new ultimate. That was why he set that record of 65 poles, which may never be challenged. Why he took those 41 grand prix triumphs. Why he was out front, pushing, when he died.

    Alain Prost was the only man in Formula 1 who could truly match him at times on all levels, not just sheer speed but smoothness, car control and the depth of technical feedback and analysis. All he lacked was Ayrton's sheer aggression.

    Of course they had their differences, many of them laced with bitterness, but Prost was in tears as he commentated for the French TF1 network on Sunday afternoon.

    Senna had the mind of a computer and the emotions of a Latin. He was still the yardstick by which all other racers were judged. More than that, he was the yardstick by which they judged themselves.

    To the real stars, matching or even beating Senna was the greatest possible triumph. An endorsement of one's own greatness.

    Few could ever achieve that, let alone aspire to it. Prost could. Mansell could. Berger, Schumacher and Alesi could. At times.

    But more often than not he had a race won before it had started. To lesser lights, finishing second to him was as good as a victory.

    Frank Williams was always in awe of Senna LAT

    When he and Frank Williams finally consummated their long-running romance for 1994, he spoke of the need for a fresh challenge, and at Imola he was determined to redress the points imbalance between himself and Schumacher that had made the season so exciting after the first two races.

    His outstanding ability to relate to his engineers precisely what his machinery was doing at any given point on a circuit, on any given lap, has passed into grand prix legend, and he was making progress.

    At Suzuka last year we all went to a small gathering where Honda was giving out books to commemorate its grand prix involvement. We asked several of the guys there to sign them. This was pre-Irvine, but at times our relationship had again been uneasy in 1993. I proffered my book and smiled, and said: "You don't have to if you don't want to." He smiled back, relaxed, care-free, forgiving.

    "Time," he said as his left hand went to work, "is the big thing." How little we knew.

    Perhaps we never really knew him at all, perhaps we knew parts of him too well. I'm just grateful that we were acquainted, and that in my dotage I will be able to tell my grandchildren with pride and misty eyes, "Yes, I saw Senna race."

    A flawed genius he undoubtedly was, but last weekend, just as in 1968 and again in 1982, motor racing lost one of the greatest kings it will ever know. To many - especially those with whom he worked - Ayrton Senna will always be the greatest.
    Originally posted by brasher
    TJ is 99% African American.


      I just watched some of the videos from that fateful day, really spooky part is the chopper flying overhead and he's motionless in the car, you can just see a little twitch from the head.

      Still remember that night watching with my dad.

      2017 Ford Ranger XLT (Jeep Wrangler recovery vehicle)
      2007 KTM 250 SX

      Originally posted by Monza
      I've never considered myself the type of guy to eat arse but I am currently reviewing that policy


        saw it live back then on tv and I rarely stayed up for F1's back in year 3... this one I watched... - Couldn't understand how he had been killed, didn't look that bad but he was just not moving.


          Incidentally it was 11 years since Possum Bourne died yesterday, too. :(


            Had to write a biography on someone when I was in year 4 (1996, age 10). I didn't know what to write mine on most people chose people like Walt Disney or elderly relatives. Considered my pop but he wasn't too well at the time so would have made it hard to interview him. Teacher knew I loved cars so had a chat to my parents and said I should read up on Senna and write mine on him. Even then it wasn't that hard to find material with a few videos borrowed from libraries and books etc. I still remember my dad coming home proudly one night from work and handed me a book which was on the history of F1 from beginning to 1995. I read it from cover to cover to scour for information on Senna.

            I couldn't imagine how much easier it would be to do the same assignment today. Ended up getting 97 out of 100 for it. Mum even made up a race suit with sponsor stickers for our presentation night when he had to dress up. Watching the footage of the funeral procession always makes me shiver, similarly when they interview a few Brazilians in the street and a few break out in tears a couple years on. Still think that was one of the coolest pieces of work I did during my time at school and certainly something that changed me in terms of a passion for motorsport (F1 specifically) I already followed the touring cars.
            If in doubt power out


              Originally posted by tremolo View Post
              Incidentally it was 11 years since Possum Bourne died yesterday, too. :(

              It seems like a lifetime.

              Wasn't a motorsport fan until years after Sennas death so it didn't affect me much at the time, I do remember it happening though. Since following the sport I've realized how much of an impact that weekend in Imola had on F1 on many levels.

              It's good to see Roland Ratzenburger hasn't been forgotten either. It could've easily been three and we would've lost Rubens :(
              Sutherland Shires #1 Escort? is that like being the 4th best prostitute in Kazahkstan?


                Originally posted by XXX19X
                Shitbreak is the epitome of perfection.


                  Thanks TJ, I really enjoyed those posts. I've been meaning to subscribe to Autosport Plus, but I always back out at the last minute.
                  Social media marketing for the automotive industry (plus a motorsport blog) -


                    Here's an interview with Nick Wirth (head of Simtek) about Roland and that weekend. It was great to finally hear about the other side of the coin.

                    Social media marketing for the automotive industry (plus a motorsport blog) -


                      Like most here, will never forget that weekend or that moment when Ayrton crashed. I was 23, watching it on my first TV in my bedroom. Have only missed maybe 5-6 GPs live since I was 10 to this day. I made the poor choice to watch the movie on a plane en route to Johannesburg in late 2011, The day after the Wallabies smacked the Springboks in the world cup in NZ. I was surrounded by the entire Springbok team - the biggest dudes I have ever seen...trying not to cry like a baby. Will never forget. Thanks to Jackie Steward, Sid Watkins, Schumi, Mark Webber and everyone in F1 who campaigned for driver safety. Let's hope we never lose another.
                      A slow day at the track is better than any day in the office.


                        Originally posted by XAC15T View Post
                        Thanks TJ, I really enjoyed those posts. I've been meaning to subscribe to Autosport Plus, but I always back out at the last minute.
                        Its a must dude. 8 bucks a months or whatever it is, plus you get the digital edition of autosport.
                        Originally posted by brasher
                        TJ is 99% African American.


                          This popped up on scenes


                          :worship: RIP Sir Jack Brabham AO, OBE (1926-2014) 3 World Titles, Legend.


                            I was a huge fan at the time, a teenager racing karts who admired Sennas focus on always being the quickest :) Very sad time but it's great that he's inspired so many and is well remembered.
                            Originally posted by Mr Jones
                            Sneakers prompted the erection. Engine stand made me do something with it


                              If only...


                              Click image for larger version

Name:	ifonly.PNG
Views:	1
Size:	965.1 KB
ID:	6587529
                              :worship: RIP Sir Jack Brabham AO, OBE (1926-2014) 3 World Titles, Legend.


                                Yup :(
                                Originally posted by brasher
                                TJ is 99% African American.