Text by: José Manuel Serrano Esparza

Ayrton Senna has been the best Formula 1 pilot in history and undoubtedly, the most spectacular, a concentration machine utterly dedicated to achieve the fastest maximum speed.
For the F1 fans, Ayrton Senna was the supreme crack at the controls of a F1 single-seater.
He competed in 161 Grand Prix races, winning 41 of them (second in history only behind Alain Prost with 51) and his 61 pole positions set up an absolute world record, far ahead of 33 by Jim Clark.
He was F1 World Champion in 1988, 1990 and 1991.
Born in Sao Paulo (Brazil) in 1960, being 12 years old, he had seen his youth idol Emerson Fittipaldi win the title in the first Interlagos G.P in 1973.
He got two South America go-karts Championships and was second in the 1979 and 1980 World Championships of karts.
In 1981, he travelled to England to improve his driving and won the Ford 1600 Championships with van Diemen.
In 1982, he was Formula Ford 2000 both British and European Champion, with 22 pole positions and 72 victories! And in 1983 was the Champion of British F3.
Senna was already in Formula 1, with a third class category Toleman car! When Ayrton Senna became widely known to the whole world when during the 1984 Mónaco Gran Prix he made an impressive driving on wet track while raining, finishing second behind Alain Prost.
Senna reduced the 18,139 sec advantage of Alain Prost in the 28th lap to 7,446 sec in the 31st lap! when Jacky Ickx, the race director, in a very controversial decision, ordered to stop.
In 1985 he was made a contract by F1 Lotus-Renault team, winning his first grand Prix in the 1985 Portugal Grand Prix, by dominating it from the scratch line to the end under awful atmospheric conditions, overwhelming Prost, Angelis, Keke Rosberg, Baldi, Gerhard Berger, Piquet, Brundle and the Ligiers single-seaters (that had to abandon) and he even had an advantage of 1 min 12,54 sec over the second in 55th lap.
In the 1986 Spain Grand Prix, Senna beat Mansell by only a margin of 14/1000 sec in what has been the closest finish line arrival in F1 history, on the other hand being 21, 552 sec ahead of Prost (3º).
During the 1987 Mónaco Grand Prix, Mansell couldn´t hold the pace. He had forced too much to go beyond Senna and had to abandon with a broken down exhaust pipe.
Ayrton went on with his frantic pace, and in spite of having some problems in the final part of the race with the selection of second and third gears, he managed to win 33,212 sec ahead of Piquet and 1 min and 12,839 sec over Alboretto.
In the rainy 1988 British Grand Prix, Senna, with an almost kamikaze driving, beat Gerhard Berger, Michelle Alboreto, Mauricio Gugelmin, Alessandro Nannini, Nigel Mansell and Alain Prost (who gave up in the 24th lap). Senna had to dose his fuel in the last 20 laps, willingly making a 1/10 sec more in each of them.
In the 1988 Japan G.P held at Suzuka Circuit, Ayrton proclaimed F1 Champion for the first time.
Senna drove very harshly in chase of his French archrival and in the 27th lap he went past Alain Prost, keeping the first position up to the end, crossing the finish line with an advantage of 13,363 sec over prost and 36,109 over Boutsen.
In the 1989 Belgium Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, the pilots didn´t almost see because of the heavy rain, but Ayrton Senna, driving instinctively and going the full pace, defeated the Ferraris of Berger and Mansell, the Williams of Boutsen and Patrese, Nanini, Derek Warwick, Mauricio Gugelmin and Prost (who would be second, 0,52 sec ahead of Mansell).
Senna displayed almost supernatural driving skills, specially in the Eau Rouge section, keeping a final part of the race advantage fluctuating between 10 and 12 sec.
In the 1990 Japan Grand Prix, Ayrton Senna held in Suzuka Circuit, Ayrton Senna collided with Alain Prost, winning his second Formula 1 World Championship.
In the 1991 Brazil Grand Prix, there was a great battle between Mansell and Senna until the British abandoned because of the breaking down of his car gearbox.

At seven laps from the finish line, Ayrton´s gearbox goes mad and at the critical situation, "The Flying Pilot" decides to drive only in sixth gear! The supreme Formula 1 crack doesn´t want to disappoint the torçida and chooses to risk his life. The psychological effect is devastating in the other drivers and teams. Frank Williams get up cm on his wheelchair. In the 67th lap, Patrese, at full blast, reduces Senna´s advantage from 14,080 to 9,6 and to 5,4 in the 68th. But the supreme crack of the asphalt doesn´t surrender. He suffers from cramps and muscular spasms. He is seeing Patrese´s car bigger and bigger in his rear view window, but he continues impassive. Nobody knows how, but Senna is taking the close bends in 6th march without going out of the track. It´s the collective madness. In the 70th lap, the difference has decreased to 4,1 sec and it´s training harder. The crowd roars and encourages him to the death and Senna, exhausted, crosses the finish line as a winner with Patrese only 3,6 sec behind.
In the 1991 United States Grand Prix held at Phoenix (Arizona), Senna got a great victory over Alain Prost, subtracting him an advantage of 16,322 sec on crossing finish with a McLaren-Honda V-12 that he hadn´t almost been able to test. 
In the 1991 Mónaco Grand Prix, Senna quickly went past Patrese, reaching the second position. He was his car was inferior and strived after keeping Nigell Mansell´s advantage to the least, but in the 71st lap, Mansell entered boxes to change wheels, Senna now taking the lead.
Ayrton, aware that the Old Lion could catch him with new tyres, made his utmost effort, specially in the last laps and Mansell couldn´t go past him.
The 1993 British Gran Prix in Donnington, took place in heavy rain.
Ayrton had the scarcely competitive Williams-Ford. But it started to rain. Approximately at Coppice span, Senna gave chase to Prost. They went to the Melbourne close bend. Senna made his trajectory through the middle of the track (with Prost on the outer zone) and got through the inner part. Senna went past the first. Senna infuriates his rivals, who become terrified. They do know they must risk their life to hold that pace and that they can´t compete with ´ The Rain Master ´.
And from the 55th lap, Senna was the leader of Donnington G.P with a complete lap advantage!, subtracting Hill 1 min 23,199 sec and a complete lap to Prost.
Donnington 93 was a prodigy of tactics and bravery on a wet circuit and the mythical lap 1´ 35´´ 843 in heavy rain is deemed as the best masterpiece in Formula 1 history.
Senna showed an aggressive and uncompromising driving style, with a fierce winning desire and if his car wasn´t the best, Ayrton made it cross the finish line in the first place.
He spent endless night and day hours tuning his car with the Japanese engineers, specially with Osamu Goto, Honda Shogun of mechanics.
But during the 7th lap of 1994 San Marino Grand Prix in Imola, when he was about to take the Tamburello bend, inexplicably, his Williams-Renault went on in straight line at nearly 300 km/h, crashing against a concrete wall on the right of the bend.
Because of a mechanical failure, the steering wheel driving shaft had broken and Senna had died as a consequence of his injures in head and neck, when due to the impact, the left front suspension triangle had broken, coming into the helmet and penetrating into his skull.
Ayrton Senna defied Juan Manuel Fangio´s rules for which the goal when in a race is to win at the least possible speed, getting the maximum without putting yourself or the machine to the limit.
He always went at full speed and comibined the intellectual and cerebral driving (characteristic of Achile Varzi, Rudolf Caracciola, Alberto Ascari, Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, Niki Lauda and Nelson Piquet) with the ´physical´ piloting (typical in Tazio Nuvolari, Ronnie Peterson, Giles Villeneuve, Jean Alesi, Gerhard Berger or Nigell Mansell).

´ I have spent my life with people
achieving incredible things, but
I have never seen anybody like Senna ´
(Ron Dennis, Team Boss)

´ Senna will always be the King´. I don´t
think I will be ever. It isn´t either a challenge
I have put forward myself, cause nobody could
compare to Senna ´
(Michael Schumacher)

© Copyright Text: José Manuel Serrano Esparza