Carl Senna Biography & Facts
Ayrton Senna da Silva (Brazilian Portuguese: [aˈiʁtõ ˈsẽnɐ dɐ ˈsiwvɐ] (listen); 21 March 1960 – 1 May 1994) was a Brazilian racing driver who won the Formula One World Drivers' Championship in 1988, 1990 and 1991. Senna is one of three Formula One drivers from Brazil to win the World Championship and won 41 Grands Prix and 65 pole positions, with the latter being the record until 2006. He died in an accident leading the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix driving for the Williams team.Senna began his motorsport career in karting, moved up to open-wheel racing in 1981 and won the 1983 British Formula Three Championship. He made his Formula One debut with Toleman-Hart in 1984, before moving to Lotus-Renault the following year and winning six Grands Prix over the next three seasons. In 1988, he joined Frenchman Alain Prost at McLaren-Honda. Between them, they won all but one of the 16 Grands Prix that year, and Senna claimed his first World Championship. Prost claimed the championship in 1989, and Senna his second and third championships in 1990 and 1991. In 1992, the Williams-Renault combination began to dominate Formula One. Senna nonetheless managed to finish the 1993 season as runner-up, winning five races and negotiating a move to Williams in 1994.
Senna was recognised for his qualifying speed over one lap, and from 1989 until 2006 he held the record for most pole positions. He was also acclaimed for his wet weather performances, such as the 1984 Monaco Grand Prix, the 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix, and the 1993 European Grand Prix. He holds a record six victories at the Monaco Grand Prix, is the fifth-most successful driver of all time in terms of race wins and has won more races for McLaren than any other driver. Senna courted controversy throughout his career, particularly during his turbulent rivalry with Prost. In the Japanese Grands Prix of 1989 and 1990, each of which decided the championship of that year, collisions between Senna and Prost determined the eventual winner.
Early life and career
Senna was born in the Pro-Matre Maternity Hospital of Santana, a neighbourhood of São Paulo. The middle child of a wealthy Brazilian family, he was born to landowner and factory owner Milton da Silva and his wife Neide Senna da Silva; he had an older sister, Viviane, and a younger brother, Leonardo. He was left-handed. Senna's mother was the granddaughter of Italian immigrants, while his father was born to a Spanish mother (from Tíjola, Province of Almería) and a Brazilian father from São Paulo.The house where Senna spent the first four years of his life belonged to Neide's father, João Senna. It was located on the corner of Avenida Aviador Guilherme with Avenida Gil Santos Dumont, less than 100 meters from Campo de Marte, a large area where they operated the Aeronautics Material park and an airport. Senna was highly athletic, excelling in gymnastics and other sports, and developed an interest in cars and motor racing at the age of four. However, as a small boy, he had poor motor coordination and had trouble climbing stairways by the age of three. An electroencephalogram (EEG) found that Senna was not suffering from any problems. Senna's parents nicknamed him "Beco". At the age of seven, Senna first learned to drive a Jeep around his family's farm and also how to change gears without using a clutch.Senna attended Colegio Rio Branco in the São Paulo neighbourhood of Higienópolis and graduated in 1977 with a grade 5 in physics along with other grades in mathematics, chemistry, and English. He later enrolled in a college that specialised in business administration, but dropped out after three months. Overall, his grades amounted up to 68%.
Senna's first kart was built by his father using a small 1-HP lawnmower engine. Senna started racing at Interlagos and entered a karting competition at the age of 13. He started his first race on pole position, facing rivals who were some years older than him; despite this, he managed to lead most of the race before retiring after colliding with a rival. His father supported his son and Lucio Pascal Gascon soon managed the developing talent.Senna went on to win the South American Kart Championship in 1977. He contested the Karting World Championship each year from 1978 to 1982, finishing runner-up in 1979 and 1980. In 1978, he was the teammate of Terry Fullerton, from whom Senna later felt was the rival he got the most satisfaction racing against also because of the lack of money and politics at that level.In 1981, Senna moved to Eaton near Norwich in England to begin single-seater racing, winning the RAC and Townsend-Thoreson Formula Ford 1600 Championships that year with the Van Diemen team.
Despite this, Senna initially did not believe he would continue in motorsport. At the end of that season, under pressure from his parents to take up a role in the family business, Senna announced his retirement from Formula Ford and returned to Brazil. Before leaving England, however, Senna was offered a drive with a Formula Ford 2000 team for £10,000. Back in Brazil, he decided to take this offer and returned to live in England. As da Silva is the most common Brazilian surname, he adopted his mother's maiden name, Senna. Senna went on to win the 1982 British and European Formula Ford 2000 championships. For that season, Senna arrived with sponsorship from Banerj and Pool.In 1983, Senna drove in the British Formula Three Championship for the West Surrey Racing team. He dominated the first half of the season until Martin Brundle, driving a similar car for Eddie Jordan Racing, closed the gap in the second part of the championship. Senna won the title at the final round after a closely fought and, at times, acrimonious battle with the Briton. In November that year, Senna also triumphed at the inaugural Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix with Teddy Yip's Toyota-powered Theodore Racing Team.
Formula One career
In 1983, Senna tested for Formula One teams Williams, McLaren, Brabham, and Toleman. Peter Warr of Lotus, Ron Dennis of McLaren, and Bernie Ecclestone of Brabham made offers for testing in 1984 and presented long-term contracts that tied Senna to driving later on. During his test for Williams at the 3.149-km (1.957-mi) Donington Park circuit, Senna completed 40 laps and was quicker than the other drivers, including Williams's reigning World Champion Keke Rosberg.
Neither Williams nor McLaren had a vacancy for the 1984 season. Both Williams boss Frank Williams and McLaren boss Ron Dennis noted that Senna insisted that he got to run their cars before anyone else (other than their regular drivers such as Rosberg) so that he would have the best chance of a good showing by having a fresh car.
Peter Warr actually wanted to replace Nigel Mansell with Senna at Lotus, but their British-based title sponsor, Imperial Tobacco (John Player & Sons), wanted a British driver. Senna, however, was determined to drive that season and c.... Discover the Carl Senna popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Carl Senna books.