At the time when the internet was not so developed, newspaper articles about Ayrton Senna were like poetry. Today we will refer to some of the most interesting moments in Senna’s career.
Senna Triumphs, September 16, 1985
Brazil’s Ayrton Senna drove his Lotus-Renault to a ”very difficult” victory in the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, and a cautious third place for France’s Alain Prost gave him confidence he will win the world championship at last. Senna mastered a track intermittently rain-slicked or drying and had to cope with his engine cutting dead on the straights. Senna finished the 186.081 miles in 1 hour, 34 minutes, 19.893 seconds at an average speed of 117.94 mph. Britain’s Nigel Mansell finished second.
Ayrton Senna gained the pole position – May 3, 1987
Ayrton Senna gained the pole position for today’s San Marino Grand Prix in Imola, Italy, by driving his Lotus-Honda in the fastest lap during the second and last official qualifying session. Senna, 27, turned the 3.132-mile lap at the Dino Ferrari autodrome in 1 minute, 25.82 seconds, an average speed of 130.422 mph. It is Senna’s third consecutive pole at San Marino. Nigel Mansell will start second, Alain Prost third and Teo Fabi fourth.
Senna’s Late Crash Propels Prost To Victory In Monaco – May 16, 1988
Alain Prost, capitalizing on a mistake by McLaren teammate Ayrton Senna, won the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday for the fourth time in five years. Senna led for the first 66 laps and had built a lead of nearly a minute over the field when he failed to negotiate a tight curve and slid into a guard rail with 12 laps left. Prost, who had overtaken Gerhard Berger for second place 13 laps earlier, eased to the victory in 1 hour, 57 minutes and 17.077 seconds. Berger’s Ferrari was second, 20.453 seconds behind.
Ayrton Senna – August 7, 1988
ON THE POLE. Ayrton Senna captured the pole for today’s Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest. Nigel Mansell, despite having chicken pox, grabbed the other front-row position. Senna drives a McLaren-Honda; McLaren-Honda cars have won all nine Formula One races this season. Senna’s teammate, Alain Prost, qualified seventh. Senna has started from pole position in eight of the nine races and has won five. Prost has won the other four.
Ayrton Senna captured the provisional pole – August 27, 1988
LEADER OF PARADE. Ayrton Senna captured the provisional pole position for Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. Senna toured the 4.312-mile circuit through the East Belgian countryside in 1 minute, 53.718 seconds, averaging almost 136.516 mph. If he holds onto the top spot after the second session, it will be the ninth time Senna will start from the inside position this season. Senna’s McLaren-Honda teammate Alain Prost was second. The Ferraris of Gerhard Berger and Michele Alboreto were next. Meanwhile, Nigel Mansell, who won in 1986, will miss the race because of an infection stemming from chicken pox. He attempted to race at Budapest but dropped out when he became exhausted.
Senna On Pole – May 7, 1989
Ayrton Senna gained the pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix as he blistered the Monte Carlo streets in an all-time qualifying best Saturday. Senna toured the twisting, 2.068-mile circuit in 1 minute, 22.308 seconds, bettering the previous qualifying best on this current layout of 1:22.627 set by McLaren-Honda teammate Alain Prost in 1986. It was the 32nd pole position of Senna’s career, putting him one behind all-time leader Jim Clark. Prost will start today’s race alongside Senna as he came in second in 1:23.
Racing On The Riviera – May 8, 1989
Brazilian Ayrton Senna avoided traffic and accidents in winning the Monaco Grand Prix for the second time, beating McLaren-Honda teammate Alain Prost. Senna’s winning time was 1 hour, 53 minutes, 33.251 seconds, as he beat Prost by 52.528 seconds. The two are tied for the lead in the driver’s standings with 18 points each. Stefano Modena was third in a Brabham-Judd. Senna had the pole position and grabbed the lead on the first turn. It was the 16th career victory for Senna in a Formula I race and his second this year. Prost has finished second in all three 1989 Grand Prix races.
Senna’s Mclaren Too Strong For Rest Of Mexico City Field – May 29, 1989
Brazil’s Ayrton Senna got his McLaren off to successive quick starts Sunday and held the lead the rest of the way to win the Mexico City Grand Prix.Italians Riccardo Patrese in a Williams Renault, Michele Alboreto in a Tyrrell Ford and Alessandro Nannini in a Benetton Ford followed Senna across the finish line.A red flag interrupted the end of the first lap, when Italian Stefano Modena’s Brabham Judd, just out of a curve, went into a spin, blocking the track. Olivier Grouillard and Andrea de Cesaris, following close behind, narrowly missed crashing into Modena; both crashed into safety tire walls, with Modena forced to change cars.
Ayrton Senna easily held on to win the record 34th pole – June 4, 1989
Ayrton Senna easily held on to win the record 34th pole of his Formula One career, taking the top qualifying spot for the first Phoenix (Ariz.) Grand Prix.The Brazilian, who enters today’s race with three consecutive victories, captured his eighth pole in a row despite failing to improve on his Friday lap of 1 minute, 30.108 seconds, averaging 94.287 mph.
Senna Too Slick – August 28, 1989
Brazilian world champion Ayrton Senna won the Belgian Grand Prix Sunday in Spa-Francorchamps with brilliant wet-weather driving, narrowing the gap in the world standings on McLaren Honda teammate Alain Prost of France, who finished second. Briton Nigel Mansell, driving a Ferrari, was third in a race in which rain and spray heavily reduced visibility. Senna cruised home in one hour, 40 minutes, 54.196 seconds, 1.304 seconds ahead of Prost and 1.824 seconds in front of Mansell. With his fifth victory of the season, Senna closed in on Prost in the world standings.
Senna Tops Practice – September 23, 1989
Ayrton Senna clocked the fastest time in his McLaren Honda on Friday in the first practice session for Sunday’s Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril. Senna was timed at 128.890 mph as he sped around the 2.7-mile circuit in 1 minute, 15.496 seconds. Red flags stopped the session three times because of spinoffs and collisions. To add to the problems, the track’s timing equipment failed because of a power outage. Nigel Mansell’s Ferrari was involved in one of the collisions, tangling with a Rial Form driven by Christian Danner.
Senna Stays Alive – October 2, 1989
World champion Ayrton Senna kept alive his hopes of retaining his title when he convincingly won the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez, Spain. Senna, in a McLaren, drove a faultless race from the lights to the checkered flag to claim his 20th career victory and collect the nine points he needed to retain any chance of overhauling his French teammate Alain Prost in the championship. Austrian Gerhard Berger was second. Berger came home 27 seconds behind Senna, who broke the race lap record for the circuit on his way to victory.
Crash And Lose – October 23, 1989
Allesandro Nannini was declared the winner of the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka after defending world champion Ayrton Senna was disqualified following a crash with teammate Alain Prost six laps from the finish. The result, if it stands, would make Prost the Formula One champion for the third time. Prost was running just ahead of Senna, his McLaren-Honda teammate, before the two tangled going into a curve on the 47th lap. Prost retired after the crash, but Senna limped into the pit without a front wing. When he came out of the pit, he sped past Nannini with only three laps left and held on for the checkered flag. But Senna was disqualified by officials for avoiding part of the curve as he moved away from Prost’s car and headed for the pit. Senna needed to win this race and the next Grand Prix, the last of the season (in Australia on Nov. 5), to retain the overall title.
Confusion – October 30, 1989
LET’S SEE if we can follow this. Everybody knows that Formula One racing crowns a seasonlong points champion. And next Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix is the final race this season. But the outcome of an appeal that is expected to determine this year’s Formula One champ may not be known until after the final race. Reigning champ Ayrton Senna’s appeal against his disqualification from the Japanese Grand Prix on Oct. 22 was heard by the sport’s ruling body, the Federation Internationale du Sport Automobile (FISA), in Paris last week. But Australian Grand Prix spokesman Mike Drewer said FISA still was deliberating on the appeal. Senna crossed the line first in the Japanese Grand Prix, but later was disqualified for taking an illegal escape road to rejoin the race after colliding with Alain Prost. If Senna’s appeal fails, Prost will be confirmed as world champion. If his appeal is successful, Senna can take the title from Prost if he wins in Australia.
Senna Won’t Back Down – November 3, 1989
AN EMOTIONAL Ayrton Senna vowed that a six-month ban hanging over his head would not affect his driving style in Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix at Adelaide. Senna, who appeared close to tears a number of times, was responding to the $100,000 fine and six-month suspension levied by the International Automobile Federation on Tuesday. The FIA, which said Senna had endangered other drivers on several occasions this season, withheld implementation of the suspension for six months. ”I am going to give Sunday’s race my very best,” Senna said:”After all, I am a professional. The suspended sentence is totally unfair. Formula One is all about racing on the limit and it is unacceptable to put such a weight on my shoulders. I’ll drive the way I have driven all my career. I’ll do my job to the best of my ability. Despite everything, I’m glad to be here. Racing is my passion, my life.”
Competitor’s View – November 8, 1989
ALTHOUGH THE Formula I season may be over, Alain Prost and rival Ayrton Senna still are battling. Prost, the world driving champion, said Senna ”destroyed” Formula I racing with his obssession with success. ”He is a computer; he sees only the success. He is risking his life just to win and to become world champion. I find this price is too high,” Prost was quoted as saying in the East German newspaper Deutsches Sportecho. Prost took the title away from Senna this year in a season marked by crashes on the track and clashes between the two McLaren-Honda teammates. The two barely acknowledged each other through most of the season, and Prost accused McLaren of favoring Senna, especially after the Prost announced that he would compete for Ferrari next year.
Still In Driver’s Seat – January 13, 1990
Ron Dennis, team manager, vows that Ayrton Senna will compete in this year’s Formula One events, despite a dispute the Brazilian driver is having with world auto racing officials. Dennis also said McLaren had not decided whether to take legal action over the decision by FISA, the sport’s international governing body, to bar Senna from Grand Prix racing unless he apologizes for criticism of the organization. This week FISA President Jean-Marie Balestre said Senna would not be granted the super license he needs to race in 1990 unless he retracts accusations he made last year against FISA.
Senna on top – March 12, 1990
Ayrton Senna overpowered Jean Alesi at mid-race and went on to a runaway victory in the season-opening U.S. Grand Prix through the streets of downtown Phoenix. Alesi, 25, driving in only his ninth Formula One event, drove his Tyrrell-Ford from fourth place into the lead in the first turn of the 72-lap, 170-mile race. He remained ahead until Senna took his McLaren-Honda to the front on the 35th lap. It was Senna’s 21st victory in 95 career starts.
Senna Wins Again – April 29, 1991
Ayrton Senna rode out a slippery start and overcame an oil pressure problem to drive to victory in Sunday’s San Marino Grand Prix in Imola, Italy. It was Senna’s third consecutive Formula One victory. Senna lapped everyone in the rain except teammate Gerhard Berger. Alain Prost spun off during the warmup lap and didn’t start the race. Jean Alesi went off the track on the second lap. Senna, who started on the pole, moved cautiously and fell behind Riccardo Patrese. He took the lead on lap 9.
Senna King Of Monaco – May 13, 1991
Ayrton Senna cruised to a record fourth consecutive victory in Formula One, taking the Monaco Grand Prix in Monte Carlo. Nigel Mansell finished second, and Jean Alesi was third. Senna made it look easy in his spare McLaren-Honda as he scored his third consecutive wire-to-wire victory and fourth overall at Monaco. He led by more than 40 seconds before easing up and winning by 18 seconds. No other driver in the history of Formula One has opened with four victories in a row.