The legendary Senna name has been brought back into the world of F1 this season.
With his prodigious abilities and utterly uncompromising personality, grand prix racing will never see another driver in the mould of Ayrton Senna. The Brazilian’s death while racing for Williams in the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix – on the sport’s darkest weekend, in which Roland Ratzenberger had also been killed and Rubens Barrichello injured – brought to a premature end a career that had looked likely never to be bettered.
Having travelled to Britain for his early racing career, Senna beat Martin Brundle to the British Formula Three crown in 1983 and was offered testing roles at top F1 teams including Lotus and McLaren for the following year. But he was determined to race and took a seat at Toleman, which led to a debut season where he would have won the Monaco GP had it not been red-flagged.
A move to Lotus for ’85,’86 and ’87 brought a clutch of victories, before he joined McLaren – the team with which he would win his three world titles, before the move to Williams in ’94. Senna often talked about his faith but even that could not explain how he was able to achieve the incredible times over a single qualifying lap that became a trademark. He was not an angel – as his feud with Alain Prost proved – but fans would rarely fail to adore him.
Ayrton once famously said: “If you think I’m fast, wait until you see my nephew.” The son of his elder sister Viviane, Bruno gave up karting following his uncle’s death but returned to the track 10 years later.
Having competed in junior categories including Formula BMW and British Formula Three, he finished second in the Formula One feeder series, GP2, in ’08, before his grand prix debut with Hispania in 2010. A part-season with Lotus-Renault followed last year before he signed with Williams, bringing the legendary Senna name back to the British team.
source: © guardian.co.uk