Ayrton Senna da Silva (San Paolo, 21 March 1960 – Bologna, 1º May 1994) was a Brasilian racing driver, three times Formula 1 World Champion in 1988, 1990 and in 1991.
Considered the fastest Formula 1 racing driver ever, he mixed his ability to bring his single-seater to the limit with a great sensibility in doing that and in the tyres choice. He died in a serious accident in San Marino Grand Prix in 1994.
Especially fast in free practice session, Senna was the racing driver who obtained most number of pole position than the number of Grand Prix he competed in, after Juan Manuel Fangio, Jim Clark and Alberto Ascari. He is the 5th in the driver standing for victories number (41) after Michael Schumacher (91), Lewis Hamilton (62), Alain Prost (51) and Sebastian Vettel (46).
- This steering wheel was used by Ayrton, while driving the Lotus 99T, during the 1987 Formula 1 World Championship, which saw him win the Monaco Grand Prix and the Detroit Grand Prix. Senna’s performance that year confirmed what motor racing experts had been thinking for a long time: we were faced with a fearsome racer hungry for victory. That year, the fourth for the Brazilian driver in F1, ended with Senna sitting in 3rd place in the driver standings. An exceptional result.
- In 1990, Senna raced in a McLaren MP4/5B, a car with exceptional performance, with which he took on the challenge, bumps and all, of Frenchman Alain Prost, who had moved to Ferrari in that season, but up to till then was the Brazilian’s team-mate and with whom he had numerous disagreements concerning the various decisions taken on the track that were disregarded by the parties and which generated a real sporting feud between the two. However, the 1990 season was a success for Senna because, even with 4 retirements, he was victorious on 6 occasions. These wins, combined with 2 second and 3 third positions, led him to victory in the Championship.
- This steering wheel in our collection was fitted on the McLaren MP4/6, one of the best cars of the 1991 season, despite not being the fastest. Nevertheless, Senna did an excellent job, claiming 7 victories, 3 runner-up spots and two third places, as well as a 4th and 5th place. Needless to say, with these extraordinary results the world title was his, but one victory in particular, that at the Brazilian Grand Prix, was long and painful: all his car’s gears were broken, except sixth, and the effort was so much for the great that he almost fainted on the podium.
(Source: Wikipedia; Formula1.com)
Ph. Daniele Amaduzzi