McLaren Fans' Top 5 Ayrton Senna Moments
1. Monaco '88 (Qualifying)
In the words of Ayrton himself - “I suddenly realized that I was no longer driving the car consciously. The whole circuit for me was a tunnel. I was way over the limit but still able to find even more. Then, suddenly, something just kicked me – immediately my reaction was to back off, slow down; it frightened me because I realised I was well beyond my conscious understanding.”
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2. Donington '93
Hard as it is to believe, Senna was the underdog that day but, when the heavens opened on race morning, he knew the playing field had been levelled. He made his mark in the most memorable way possible starting from fourth on the grid, dropping to fifth and racing to first all in under one lap. It is no wonder many refer to this lap as the all-time greatest opening lap in F1 history.
3. Brazil '91
Senna’s first win in front of his home crowd was well overdue and despite leading from start to finish, he fought momentously with a failing gearbox throughout most of the race to achieve it. He expertly guided the car home albeit at the expense of complete physical and mental exhaustion as he finished the race slumped in the car and had to be helped from the cockpit to the podium.
4. Monaco '92
The fifth of Ayrton’s unmatched six Monte-Carlo wins which will always be remembered for the great tussle he enjoyed with erstwhile leader Nigel Mansell in some of the most dramatic closing laps ever seen at the Principality.
5. Spa' 92
During Friday qualifying, Ayrton once again showed how much he invested in the safety of others and how his deep spirituality and emotional beliefs shaped the man we remember today.
Ayrton was the first car on the scene of a huge shunt at Blanchimont where Erik Comas had smashed his Ligier against the wall, shedding all four wheels before coming to a halt in the middle of the circuit. Ayrton slowed to a crawl, pulled his car over at the side of the track, leapt free and began running frantically back towards the stricken Frenchman where he had the presence of mind to cut the ignition to stem the threat of a fire.