Most drivers, after winning a race, are usually in the mood to celebrate, or at the very least to bask in the glory of the moment for a while. Not so Ayrton Senna, whose primary motivation after winning the 1993 Japanese Grand Prix was tracking down the impetuous newcomer who‚Äôd had the gall to unlap himself‚Ä¶
Picture the scene: Eddie Irvine has just taken a brilliant sixth-place finish in his maiden Grand Prix, and having changed out of his overalls, he‚Äôs now sat in the Jordan team‚Äôs rather rudimentary hospitality cabin in the Suzuka paddock, savouring the moment.¬†Irvine has worked hard to get to this point, a portion of his personal savings having helped him secure his F1 chance off the back of several years of F3000 competition in Europe and Japan.
But whilst the Ulsterman can afford to be quietly satisfied with his debut F1 outing, not everyone is happy. In fact, a raging three-time world champion is on the war path, and Irvine is his prime target.Suddenly the door to the Jordan unit swings open and in marches Ayrton Senna, followed swiftly by a string of worried faces from McLaren, including the Brazilian‚Äôs race engineer Giorgio Ascanelli and the team‚Äôs director of communications Norman Howell.
Only moments earlier Senna had collected the winner‚Äôs trophy, but now, after being egged on by old pal Gerhard Berger, he‚Äôs here to give the grid‚Äôs newest member a thorough dressing down - and all because of a relatively minor racing incident.
‚ÄúWhat the **** do you think you were doing?‚ÄĚ says Senna, who‚Äôs already lambasted Irvine in the post-race press conference, by way of an opening comment.
‚ÄúI was racing,‚ÄĚ comes the Jordan driver‚Äôs blunt reply.
‚ÄúYou were racing?‚ÄĚ says an incredulous Senna, seemingly taken aback by Irvine‚Äôs less than apologetic response. ‚ÄúDo you know the rule that you‚Äôre supposed to let the leaders come by when you‚Äôre a backmarker?‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúIf you were going fast enough, it was no problem,‚ÄĚ comes the quickfire retort.
This ‚Äėdiscussion‚Äô, recorded for posterity by journalist Adam Cooper, would continue for some time‚Ä¶
For the uninitiated, the episode that had drawn Senna‚Äôs ire - and put his victory celebrations on hold - occurred late in the race when, on a damp but drying track, the Brazilian had come up to lap the battling duo of Irvine and Damon Hill.¬†Senna held a relatively comfortable lead over arch-rival Alain Prost at this point and initially managed to slip past Irvine when the Jordan rookie ran wide at the tricky Degner section.
However, keen to resume battle with Hill, Irvine - a Suzuka specialist who‚Äôd competed in as many as 11 Japanese F3000 races at the circuit - closed back in on Senna‚Äôs MP4-8 before, in an unprecedented move, audaciously re-passing the then 39-time race winner around the outside into the chicane.¬†Irvine would subsequently fall off the road again, allowing Senna to get by, but he‚Äôd rile the Brazilian still further by unlapping himself again on the penultimate lap, having survived a late race clash with Derek Warwick.
‚ÄúYou want to do well - I understand, because I‚Äôve been there,‚ÄĚ continued an irate Senna in the Jordan cabin. ‚ÄúBut it‚Äôs very unprofessional‚Ä¶‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúBut I would have followed you if you had overtaken Hill!‚ÄĚ countered Irvine, tensions escalating.
‚ÄúYou nearly hit Hill in front of me three times, because I saw, and I could have collected you and him as a result, and that‚Äôs not the way to do that,‚ÄĚ said Senna, imploring Irvine to admit his mistake.
Irvine, however, was having none of it: ‚ÄúBut I‚Äôm racing! I‚Äôm racing!‚ÄĚ he protested.¬†It was at this point that Senna finally boiled over.
‚ÄúYou‚Äôre not racing!‚ÄĚ he exclaimed. ‚ÄúYou‚Äôre driving like a ****ing idiot! You‚Äôre not a racing driver, you‚Äôre a ****ing idiot!‚ÄĚ
Moments later, with the two men still at loggerheads, Senna threw a fist in Irvine‚Äôs direction.¬†How much contact he actually made with the brash debutant is open to debate, but Irvine, who‚Äôd been leaning on a table, hit the deck as Senna was manhandled away by his startled colleagues from McLaren.¬†Within a matter of minutes news of the altercation had spread throughout the paddock - and would remain the hot topic of conversation for weeks until Senna was eventually handed a suspended two-race ban by the FIA.
Much to his chagrin, Irvine‚Äôs promising debut had been well and truly overshadowed. But on the other hand, no one is ever likely to forget it…
source: Formula 1 Official