GPS Ayrton Senna, a special series of GPS devices developed by Airis honoring the champion, has just arrived in Brazil. Besides the innovation of bringing the Wi-Fi connection to geolocation gadgets, the limited special edition features a gallery of pictures with the best moments of the idol. 100% of royalties from the sales of this GPS edition will go to the Ayrton Senna Institute.
For more information visit http://www.airis.com.br/senna/index.php
This clip is from the 1991 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix podium in Phoenix, Arizona. Ayrton Senna and Nelson Piquet have some fun at Jean Marie Ballestre's expense. Interesting considering the battles that Senna had with Ballestre and the FIA. It is also good footage of Prost and a young Ron Dennis.
Jean-Marie Balestre (1996)
The McLaren MP4/4 was a highly successful Formula 1 car that competed in the 1988 Formula One season. It was designed by Gordon Murray, who based the design on his lowline Brabham BT55 car of 1986, and American engineer Steve Nichols. It is one of the most dominant Formula One cars ever built, winning all but one race in the 1988 season.
After a relatively disappointing 1987, when McLaren-TAG Porsche lost out nine times to the dominant Honda-powered Williams, twice to Lotus and twice in the latter stages to Ferrari, taking only three wins, McLaren secured the 1500cc V6 Honda turbo engines, the most powerful in F1 at the time. With the engines coming at the expense of Williams, a strong 1988 was possible. 1988 was due to be the last year for the turbo engines before they were banned, so most teams were making a concerted effort to establish themselves with naturally-aspirated cars. Murray went ahead with the design of the car on a purely turbo engined basis, which put the team at a distinct advantage over their rivals.
The lowline chassis layout was pioneered when Murray was at Brabham. The idea being that a low car would be more aerodynamically efficient and allow more air to pass over the rear wing causing more downforce to be produced, but without excessive drag. In theory this sounded great. In practice the BMW engine used in the Brabham proved troublesome in this layout with fuel starvation problems and engine installation issues plaguing the BT55. However the Honda unit was much smaller and had a lower centre of gravity than its BMW counterpart, so it was ideal for the low-down chassis layout. With this in mind, Murray revised his design and went ahead with his plan.he situation improved immensely when Ayrton Senna signed to partner Alain Prost (at Prost's suggestion) on a 3 year contract. The McLaren chassis, the Senna and Prost pairing, and finally the new powerplants, looked like a formidable combination. However, there were concerns after the FIA introduced a fuel regulation for the turbo powered cars of 150 litres for a race distance. Honda's engine management team worked feverishly on the fuel consumption of the engine, trying to improve it in order to avoid embarrassing late race retirements. The team also experimented with active suspension in early testing but this was abandoned, and the car appeared 'as-is' through the season, save for a few aerodynamic revisions. The car appeared at the first race with very little testing, but that didn't stop Senna putting the car on pole position by a long way.
Before 1988, the most dominant car seen in F1 had been the Lotus 79, however the MP4/4's successes made the Lotus seem almost ordinary. The season was an almost embarrassing walkover for McLaren, who took 15 victories from 16 races, including 10 1-2 finishes and Prost finishing 1st or 2nd in every race other than his 2 retirements in Britain and Italy. The dominant run was only interrupted once, at Monza, when Senna had an accident while lapping Jean-Louis Schlesser making a one-off appearance for Williams. With Prost already out after a rare engine failure, Gerhard Berger of Ferrari took an unexpected victory. Perhaps the most telling example of the MP4/4's emphatic domination was seen at Monaco that year. Senna qualified an astonishing 1.5 seconds faster than Prost using the same car, while Prost was again a second ahead of the rest of the field. The car retired only 4 times in the season- with Prost retiring at Silverstone and Monza, and Senna's infamous accidents at Monaco and Monza. Another example of McLaren's domination was at Imola where Senna and Prost both qualified over 2.5 seconds faster than 3rd placed Nelson Piquet in his Lotus with the same Honda twin-turbo V6 that the McLarens had.
Alain Prost driving the MP4/4 at the 1988 Canadian GP.At the end of the season, McLaren had taken both the Constructors' and Drivers' titles (Senna edging out Prost by default - only the eleven best results counted but Prost scored more points with fewer wins). The MP4/4 took 15 wins from 16 races, 15 pole positions, and 199 points, all in a single season with the 9-point scoring system established in 1956. It would be followed by the McLaren MP4/5 in 1989.
Current McLaren Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton drove the MP4/4 on Top Gear. After driving the car, Hamilton said to host Jeremy Clarkson "I love this car. It's one of the best days of my life. I finally can check off my dream of driving this car."
Chassis: Carbon fibre honeycomb monocoque
Engine: Honda RA168-E, 1,494 cc (91.2 cu in), 80º V6, turbo (2.5 Bar limited), mid-engine, longitudinally mounted
Transmission: Weismann/McLaren 6 Speed manual
On the occasion of the Interlagos Grand Prix in Brazil, Viviane Senna and the Instituto Ayrton Senna unit the entire Formula 1 family, along with Ayrton Senna's friends and loved ones, in São Paulo to commemorate what would have been the driver's 50th birthday. To mark the event, 400 guests attended the Premiere of the documentary-film “Senna”, and discovered exceptional timepieces created by Hublot in support of Instituto Ayrton Senna.
Viviane Senna, Ayrton Senna's sister and president of the Instituto Ayrton Senna founded in 1994, has chosen the week of the Interlagos Grand Prix as the occasion to bring together only the closest of friends and family of Ayrton Senna to commemorate what would have been the 50th birthday of the driver, who tragically lost his life on the Imola circuit in 1994.
To mark this special event, Paramount Pictures have offered Viviane Senna the opportunity to screen the new documentary-film "Senna" directed by Asif Kapadia, produced by Working Title and Universal.
Given Hublot’s long-standing relationship with the Instituto, Vivianne Senna did not hesitate in asking the Swiss brand to participate in this event by unveiling an exceptional collection of new timepieces dedicated to the driver and enabling Hublot to continue to support the Instituto:
The King Power Ayrton Senna, a split second chronograph movement with power reserve indicator - a limited edition of 500 numbered pieces, stamped with Ayrton Senna's signature - made entirely from materials used in Formula 1, such as carbon fibre for the case (a first for Hublot), ceramic, Nomex…This series is Act 3 in the friendship between Jean-Claude Biver, CEO of Hublot, and Viviane Senna which began in 2007. A friendship which has since raisedmore than 1 million US dollars for the Instituto Ayrton Senna.The King Power Tourbillon Ayrton Senna, 10 exceptional tourbillons manufactured entirelyby Hublot, 10 unique commemorative pieces with a different engraving on the case-back ofeach watch, showing one of 10 highlights in the driver's career, chosen by his sister andmother. Exclusive Limited edition for Brazil.The evening took place in the most luxurious of cinema complexes, located in South SãoPaulo: the Cinemark Bradesco Prime. 5 cinema screens simultaneously showed the film,followed by a dinner with entertainment from DJ Raul Boesel, a former racing driver who is nowone of the most sought-after DJs in South America.
Senna was a practicing Catholic. A very religious man, he openly conflated his beliefs with racing, something for which he was criticized by Alain Prost, among others. He often read the Bible on long flights from São Paulo to Europe. In the Senna movie released in 2010, Ayrton's sister, Vivianne, reveals that during the initial tragic event of the San Marino Grand Prix of 1994, Senna had sought strength from the Bible to continue racing, opening a page that promised him the greatest gift of all—being with God.
As his profile rose,Senna expressed concern over the widespread poverty in Brazil. After his death it was discovered that he had quietly donated millions of his personal fortune to aid poor children. Shortly before his death, he created the framework for an organisation dedicated to Brazilian children, which later became Instituto Ayrton Senna.
Senna was often quoted using driving as a means for self-discovery and racing as a metaphor for life: "The harder I push, the more I find within myself. I am always looking for the next step, a different world to go into, areas where I have not been before. It's lonely driving a Grand Prix car, but very absorbing. I have experienced new sensations and I want more. That is my excitement, my motivation."
Towards the end of his career Senna became increasingly preoccupied with the dangers of his profession. On the morning of his death he initiated the re-formation of the GPDA safety organisation, with which he had intended to work to improve the safety of his sport.
He was renowned for his close relationship with Gerhard Berger, and the two were always playing practical jokes on each other. Berger is quoted as saying "He taught me a lot about our sport, I taught him to laugh." In the documentary film The Right to Win made in 2004 as a tribute to Senna, Frank Williams notably recalls that as good a driver as Senna was, ultimately "he was an even greater man outside of the car than he was in it."
Senna was married once for a short period of time, prior to his breakthrough in Formula One, to Lilian de Vasconcelos. After his marriage to Vasconcelos ended, Senna courted Adriane Yamin, daughter of an entrepreneur from São Paulo. She was 15 years old when they began the relationship in 1985 and was commonly chaperoned by her mother during meetings with Senna. They were briefly engaged, but the relationship was broken off in late 1988.
By the time of his death, Senna was dating Brazilian model Adriane Galisteu, with whom the Senna family never had a friendly relationship, even to this date. That was shown in Senna's funeral, where Galisteu was openly cast aside. The "widow" status was given by the family and media to Brazilian icon Xuxa, whom he had dated for several years in the early nineties and who arrived at the funeral holding hands with Senna's sister Viviane. After his death Galisteu wrote a book about her relationship with Senna. She became a celebrity upon Senna's death, many saying because of it, and has kept that status ever since, working as a TV show host. He was the uncle of Formula One driver Bruno Senna, of whom he famously said in 1993: "If you think I'm fast, just wait until you see my nephew Bruno".
Ayrton enjoyed physical activity ranging from athletics to water jet skiing. He also had a wide range of hobbies, such as flying real and model planes and helicopters, fishing and riding his favourite Ducati motorbikes.
“Senna” opened in Japan two months ago but British fans will have to wait until June to see the film on big screen.
Luckily I had the chance to attend a private screening of the film in London yesterday where I also spoke to the film’s author and co-executive producer Manish Pandey.
In making “Senna” the producers had access to Formula One Management’s extensive video archive. That vast amount of material has been condensed into a film which lasts little longer than a Grand Prix.
I’m sure that, like myself, many F1 Fanatic readers would have been happy to watch a Lord of the Rings-style three-part epic. But exerting discipline over what to include and what to cut has clearly been to the film’s benefit, and not just in terms of making it suitable for a mainstream audience.
“Senna” tells the story of his life and F1 career through original footage, much of it never before seen. It avoids the dry documentary style of talking head interviews, using instead voice-overs from several contributors plus clips from television commentaries.
Thanks to this approach the film moves along rapidly, introducing Senna with his breakthrough performance at Monte-Carlo in 1984 and speeding through to the onset of his rivalry with Alain Prost in 1988.
Although the film has plenty to say about Senna’s character, his charitable work and, of course, his death, his bitter battle with Prost is the film’s principle focus.
While no-one should underestimate the difficulty the producers had in choosing what to leave out of the film, the decision to skip over some events inevitably shapes the film’s view of the main figures.
Two important moments in the rising hostility between Senna and Prost are omitted. These are their wheel-to-wheel battle at Estoril in 1988 and the row that erupted over the restart at Imola in 1989.
Perhaps these weren’t thought significant enough to include, but putting them in might have helped to balance the film’s view of Senna, which verges on the saintly at times.
It is not Prost but FISA President Jean-Marie Balestre who is ultimately portrayed as the villain, and the glimpses of his heavy-handed and partisan interventions do him no favours at all.
As well as these controversial episodes there are moments of great humour, none of which I’m going to spoil by giving them away here.
For a lifelong Formula 1 fan who discovered the sport at the height of the Senna-Prost war, the film is a treasure trove of fascinating moments from a great era.
Telling a story which most people already know the end of presents problems of its own. Watching “Senna”, you know what’s coming – and you don’t want it to get there. You just want to watch the black-and-gold Lotus dancing its way around Adelaide in 1985. And you want to see more of the remarkable behind-the-scenes footage of his first home win at Brazil in 1991.
The film reaches a poignant and moving conclusion. It’s impossible to re-watch the events of that Imola weekend without feeling heavy-hearted and the final sequence strikes an emotional chord.
As Manish wrote here in October: “Many non-F1 people know Senna because of his death: hopefully, they will now have some insight into his life.”
“Senna” accomplishes that brilliantly. Quite simply it’s the greatest film about motor racing I have ever seen.
“Senna” opens in the UK on June 3rd, 2011. It has already opened in some regions including Japan and Brazil.