Ayrton Senna in McLaren Honda 1992

Formula 1 World on Ayrton SENNA


Frank Williams

“Ayrton was the most committed of all. What was outstanding about him was his mental application. He had an air of invincibility around him. He put his entire body and mind into winning.”

Bernie Ecclestone

“Ayrton was, and still is, the best Formula 1 driver I’ve ever seen”

Peter Ghetin

“He is the best driver I’ve ever seen. He only run for 4 years … In the first year in Formula Ford he won everything, he won everything in second year, he won everything in third. And now here in Formula 1 he is already a winner. He is exceptional”

Ron Dennis

“His skills, craft, subtlety, and courage were of such magnitude that he dwarfed his generation of drivers”  

Yoshitoshi Sakurai

“His brain could simulate his all operations on the track such as RPM of engine, gear position, braking point, steering or so with the error by less than a hundredth second. He could adjust himself perfectly in line with his analysis so that he actually ran in 0.6 second faster if he said that he was able to run faster by 0.6 second. Besides, he could memorize all data for the process and condition of his machine. His memory was perfectly same as the telemetry data!”

Frank Williams

“Actually, he was an even greater man outside the car than he was in it”

Martin Brundle

“He was the remarkable driver. Once race started, he had never taken any mistake during the race. In spite of his low experience, he had amazing skills to set up his machine.”

Alain Prost

“When Senna Died, A Part Of Me Died With Him”

Martin Brundle

“Seeing him on a qualifying lap - either in your mirrors or from the pit wall - was electrifying: his very distinctive helmet colour and his very distinctive style in the car. He had a gift - a sixth sense - for where the grip on the track was. I’d already realised that in F3, because he seemed to already have that understanding before the corner - not in the middle of the corner or after the corner - of where there was going to be grip. He had that special gift of driving a race car - it was natural for him.”

Alain Prost

“He was the professional driver ever known to me.”

Peter Warr

“Ayrton was wonderful to work with - he had an uplifting effect on everybody. He made a lot of demands, but you could see most of them had merit. He was like Jimmy, like Jochen, like Ronnie: if he wasn’t on pole there was something wrong. Everybody loved him, and would do anything for him.” 

Niki Lauda

“He was the best driver who ever lived”

Nigel Stepney

“He was the kind who could pull out a second and that second would come from him, not the car. Say he’d be half a second off the pole. Next minute he’d be sitting there on his last set of qualifying tyres, out he’d go and find a second, just like that. He did that so many times in the final minutes of qualifying: sit there, wait, do it.”

Angelo Parilla

“I’ve never seen a driver like this.”

Gerhard Berger

“I remember one weekend in Imola where I went out, I set the time. He went out, he was a bit quicker. I went out, I was quicker than him. He went out, he was quicker than me, and then it goes forwards, backwards - ping pong - until close to the end of the qualifying and it was the last set of tyres, and he was sitting in the racing car, me in my one, and he got out of the racing car, walked over to my one and said, ‘Listen, it’s gonna get very dangerous now,’ and I say ‘So what? Let’s go!’”

Pat Symonds

“I knew the guy was good. A great sign of a good driver is that you forget they are inexperienced - and that was the case with Ayrton. He was just so at home in Formula One that you forgot he was a rookie.”

Gerard Ducarouge

“With Ayrton, we don´t need telemetry.”

Peter Warr

“He was certainly the first driver since Ronnie Peterson to have people excited about the things he could do with a race car - you know, things you couldn´t believe.”

Gerard Ducarouge

“Ayrton had a perfect sense of the boundaries of the achievable. If he said he had missed eight-tenths of a second, you could count on him going out the next day and making it good. Eight tenths: no more, no less.”

chief designer Rory Byrne after Ayrton´s first Toleman F1 test

“He is the guy. He´s brilliant, we´ve just got to have him.”

Gerhard Begrer

“Ayrton was the best friend I ever had in F1, closer to me than anybody else in the business. During my three years driving with him at McLaren, I came to realize that he was the best, one level higher than the rest of us.”

Bob Dance

“You knew he was going to put the car on pole. That was the purpose of going out in qualifying.”

Gordon Murray

”Senna was much more cerebral than Prost, much more. He was always a few steps ahead of you and you could see the next move perfectly clear - like a chess player.”

Rubens Barrichello

“When I first came round in the medical center after my accident, the first face I saw was Ayrton’s, with tears in his eyes. I had never seen that with Ayrton before. I just had the impression that he felt as if my accident was like one of his own. He helped me a lot with my career and I can’t find the words to describe his loss.”

Alain Prost

“Twenty minutes before the start I went into the Williams garage. He was behind the computers, all alone looking at the data. I went to wish him good luck for the race, nothing more. And at that point - and there is no other word for it - he looked very upset. He was not well. That is the last image I have of him, not in the grid but in the garage - all alone with his thoughts.”