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F1 Gold | 'Unbelievable commitment and balance' - Senna's Brands Hatch quali lap

2020-05-06 09:00

Sean Parker

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Ayrton Senna. Image: Youtube

More than a quarter of a century has passed since the death of Brazilian Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna.

The maverick racer was killed while leading the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola on May 1,1994, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest to participate in the world's second costliest sport. 

Mercifully, there are hundreds of hours of film of the three-time F1 champion and, I've written about his famous battle with British driver Nigel Mansell in the rain at Monaco in 1992 and even delved into the unique and often violent driving technique. 

This week, as we celebrate the great driver, F1 pundit and former driver Karun Chandok shared a video of Senna's qualifying lap as he aimed to beat compatriot Nelson Piquet's time of 1 minute 7.063 at the 1986 British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch circuit. 

The video is pure drama and beautiful to watch as Senna wrestles with his 820kW+ Lotus 98T/Renault that weighed 540kg. 


What is your most favourite Senna moment? Email us.

Apart from the sensational sound the V6 turbo emits, Senna dances over the road like a mixture between Samba and Capoeira as he puts every ounce into his lap. 

Senna's trademark 'blipping' of the throttle through the slow corners is evident as well his precision of knowing exactly where to position the car and turn-in point. 

This lap is spine-tingling to watch as Senna is relentless in asking for out of the car into every corner, his "commitment through Hawthorn after the drop and then Westfield is incredible", was picked up by a Twitter user responding to Chandok's tweet. 

"A Grand Prix racing phenomenon", that's how legendary commentator Murray Walker describes Senna. And there's no doubt we'll be celebrating his mastery in years to come.  

Did he beat Piquet's time? Well, watch the clip to find out: 

Watch: Senna Banzai Brands Hatch Qualifying Lap


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