The 2014 season is gone and in Lewis Hamilton, the world has a new Formula One champion. If you are an avid Formula One fan, you must have heard comparisons being made between Ayrton Senna and Hamilton. However, you have to analyze the legendary Senna to evaluate these comparisons. Does the young Briton have anything in common with the great Brazilian?
Senna’s Early Years
Born on 1st May 1960 in Brazil to a wealthy family, Ayrton Senna was athletic from an early age. By the age of 7 years, he could drive his father’s jeep on their farm even as he excelled in gymnastics and other sports. With support from his father, he moved to go-karting eventually winning the South American Kart Championship in 1977.
His racing spirit took him to a runners-up position in the Karting World Championship from 1978 to 1982 performing excellently. With great stars such as Jackie Stewart and Jim Clarke making a name for themselves in Formula One, it was only a matter of time before Senna moved to England for single-seat racing.
Pressure from family back in Brazil saw him announce retirement from Formula Ford only to return and win the 1982 British and Europe Formula Ford 2000. 1983 marked the arrival of a great championship after winning the British Formula Three Championship in a tightly contested last race.
Hail the Champion
1984 is a crucial year in Senna’s Formula One history. It was during this year he debuted at the Brazilian GP in Rio de Janeiro with Toleman. This was a new team on less reliable Pirelli tires. However, he was able to light up the streets of Monaco with an impressive run in the rain where he came in second after the race stopped for safety reasons.
The Lotus era from 1985 to 1987 gave Senna a chance to prove he was a mercurial driver. In 1987, he was to take his first win at Monaco GP, followed by five more victories in the municipality. His rivalry with Alain Prost was also thrilling during this period especially on the Monte Carlo streets.
The 1988 Portuguese Grand Prix was dramatic and showed just how bad the relationship between the two McLaren drivers was. The battles went on and in 1994; Senna was able to join Williams after retirement of Prost.
With safety issues at Imola dominating the news, Senna felt greatly aggrieved and he said as much. It was like a premonition because he went ahead to have an accident at the Tamburello corner while driving at 220kph.
Medical emergency aid could not help him and by the time emergency services took him to hospital, the F1 legend was dead. While he might be gone, Senna will always remain a legend especially due to his exploits on the streets of Monte Carlo. Why not honor his memory with a visit to the Monaco Grand Prix? Go to Senate Grand Prix to book your tickets, hotel or a complete package.