Brought to you by TheJudge13 chronicler Carlo Carluccio
– 1985: Ayrton Senna’s first Grand Prix victory
On this day in 1985 – Ayrton Senna would not have been allowed to start the race if the regulations were the same as the modern dystopian alternatives.
A news bulletin that evening would possibly have read: “Pole sitter Ayrton Senna was seen sitting in the warm motor-home whilst the race was postponed due to heavy rain. There was talk that the drivers might venture out and dawdle behind the safety car but the most likely outcome is the race will be run in the predicted dry conditions tomorrow…”
Todays cultured TV audience embraces anaesthetised real life events – whilst rejoicing in the most realistic CGI infested movies, with all their associated “life-like” horrific images – because the paymasters tell us it’s safe…
I am eternally grateful that I experienced Formula One before political correctness stabbed its claws in!
I remember the 1988 British Grand Prix wash out – I was there. On television I watched mesmerised as Schumacher dominated the 1996 Spanish Grand Prix or when he collided in blinding rain into Coulthard’s McLaren in the 1998 Belgian race.
There are so many more examples – all of which would have been consigned to the history books – not to legend – if the current rules had existed then.
Following the 1984 Monaco GP, James Hunt described Senna as ‘a staggering talent.’ After only his second event with Lotus the world’s media elevated him to a Championship challenger and if his Lotus hadn’t suffered such appalling reliability throughout the year, he would have been a contender – without doubt. By the 1985 European GP – Alan Henry described him as a ‘miracle’
What actually happened on this day was – the Brazilian opened the leather bound volume marked ‘Legend’ and began transcribing the next chapter.
Senna made a clean get-away from pole position and entered the first corner with a clear road ahead of him. Sixty seven laps later he took the chequered flag with only Michele Alboreto on the same lap. He had taken his first victory in emphatic style with fastest lap to complete this stunning demonstration – making everybody else look ordinary. It was his sixteenth Grand Prix..
Afterwards, the usually reserved Brazilian let himself go, his belts undone and practically launched himself from the car.
When asked by the press how he’d found the race he replied: “The big danger was that conditions changed all the time. Sometimes the rain was very heavy sometimes not. I couldn’t see anything at all behind me it was difficult even to keep the car in a straight line sometimes.”
Some years later when Senna was asked about highlights of his career he recalled: “One of the best moments of my career was my first victory in Formula One, in Portugal, in the rain. It was also the first pole of my career and together with my first championship was one of the best, if not the best moment of my career so far. It was a race full of memories, full of excitement. It is something that I am going to keep in my mind for the rest of my life, that’s for sure.”
It has remained in the minds of all motor racing fans ever since.