--
 
5 motorsport documentaries

Here are five motorsport to watch while you're at home.

WATCH | Uncovering Ayrton Senna's unique and often violent throttle technique

2020-04-01 05:07

Sean Parker

a

Ayrton Senna. Image: Youtube

Three-time Formula 1 world championship-winning driver Ayrton Senna da Silva's driving technique has been the focus of many Reddit threads, motorsport forum chats, newspaper and magazine features, and online articles. 

Most racing drivers are taught to accelerate smoothly as they come through and out of a corner. Chief among which is not to not shift the weight of the car too suddenly as this lowers grips as braking sharply pushes weight to the front while mashing the accelerator hard transfers weight to the rear. 

Senna's technique wasn't smooth at all; in fact, it was downright violent.  

The Brazilian, who died in 1994 at the San Marino Grand Prix, tended to stomp on and off the throttle as he was exiting a corner, by blipping the throttle one would think that the car would lose grip because of the on and off nature.

But Senna, as we all know, was a different class of driver and this technique produced results for him. 

WATCH | Senna heel-and-toe in a Honda NSX 

Former McLaren test driver Jonathan Palmer, who was around during the Senna era, said: "On acceleration out of a corner, Senna's unique technique is equally obvious. Whereas I would progressively increase the throttle opening, Ayrton would immediately start stabbing at it, pushing to get his foot hard down earlier and therefore exit faster too."

So why did Senna drive this way? Well, some say it was to keep the turbo spooling on the Lotus 97T he drove in the 1985 and '86, and it would make sense for the 'throttle stabbing' technique to work in this type of F1 car. 

But Senna was blipping the throttle way before he was racing around the streets of Monte Carlo in the famous John Player Special-liveried car. 

Senna was blipping the throttle during his karting days which he started relatively late at 13-years-old.

To find out the full story, watch this clip as British racing driver Scott Mansell delves even further into Senna's strange technique: 

NEXT ON WHEELS24X

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.