Ayrton Senna

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Ayrton Senna da Silva (born 21st March, 1960 in São Paulo, Brazil) is a Brazilian former Formula One driver who won the World Championship in 1989.

Ayrton's nephew, Bruno, also raced in Formula One.


Formula One

1987: Williams

Senna swapped seats with reigning driver's champion Guillaume Gauthier ahead of the 1987 season, with the Frenchman heading in the opposite direction to Lotus. After a single point in Australia, Senna would take a lights-to-flag victory at the San Marino Grand Prix. He'd follow that win up five races later at the French Grand Prix - another race he'd win from pole. From the German Grand Prix onwards, Senna would embark on a record nine straight pole positions - which would stretch until the first race of 1988 - but unfortunately for the Brazilian he was only able to convert the European Grand Prix into a win as he'd retire from ten races in 1987. A frustrating season in terms of reliability meant that Senna announced he would be leaving Williams at the end of 1987.

1988-1990: Ferrari

Senna's frustrations caught the eye of a then-ailing Enzo Ferrari, who saw fit to sign the Brazilian alongside the French star Alain Prost. After finishing his pole streak in San Marino, Senna took another characteristic pole and win at Monaco. Despite the far superior McLaren MP4-4, Senna was able to pick up another two wins in the Soviet Union and Japan as well as another long string of pole positions - with seven in a row between Britain and Belgium. Thankfully for Senna, reliability was less of an issue at Ferrari and he was a frequent podium finisher during this streak of poles - albeit often behind his McLaren rivals Gerhard Berger and Jérémy-Étienne Voeckler. Senna would finish equal on points with third-placed Prost, but it was Prost who would finish ahead of him due to the dropped scores - so Senna finished 1988 in fourth place.

Senna remained alongside Prost in 1989 and started in the best possible fashion by winning the first three races of the season. A slump in reliability allowed McLaren's Berger to get a brief hold of the championship lead in the middle of the year but a superb run of form - including two wins - in the final five rounds secured the title for Senna with a lead of fifteen points.

Senna and Prost's relationship had deteriorated over the course of 1989 once Senna had outperformed him all year - and Prost left the team a year early, accepting a lucrative offer from Williams with Nigel Mansell moving in the other direction. Senna's 1990 started relatively slow - the Brazilian failing to convert three pole positions in the first four rounds. Senna did manage to win in Monaco for the third year running and also in France but Ferrari were still well back on their British rivals in McLaren, Arrows and Williams.

Complete Formula One World Championship Grand Prix Results

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 WDC Points
1987 Canon Williams Honda Team Williams FW11B Honda RA167E 1.5 V6t AUS
6
SMR
1
BEL
9
MON
Ret
CAN
Ret
DET
4
FRA
1
GBR
Ret
GER
Ret
HUN
Ret
YUG
Ret
ITA
Ret
POR
1
EUR
Ret
JPN
Ret
MEX
Ret
7th 31
1988 Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari F1/87/88C Ferrari 033E 1.5 V6t BRA
3
SMR
Ret
MON
1
MEX
Ret
CAN
4
DET
2
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
2
HUN
2
YUG
3
SOV
1
ITA
Ret
BEL
2
JPN
1
AUS
3†
4th 66
1989 Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 640 Ferrari 035/5 3.5 V12 BRA
1
SMR
1
MON
1
FRA
Ret
USA
Ret
CAN
Ret
GBR
3
GER
2
HUN
Ret
SOV
Ret
POR
Ret
ITA
1
BEL
2
JPN
1
AUS
2
MEX
2
1st 73
1990 Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 641 Ferrari 035/5 3.5 V12 USA
12†
BRA
7
PAC
3
SMR
Ret
MON
1
CAN
5
MEX
3
FRA
1
GBR
Ret
GER
6
HUN
Ret
BEL ITA POR JPN AUS 4th 29