Senna: A Powerfully Emotive Film

A documentary spanning the ten years that Ayrton Senna lit up F1, this film comes pre-loaded with strong emotions for anybody old enough to have experienced the events first hand.
 
The actions of Alain Prost in securing the 1989 world title by crashing into his team-mate Senna in the penultimate race of the season disgusted me then, they still make my blood boil now. It was the first time that such a thing had happened and what was worse than the crime was the way that the British motorsports press condoned the action, led by Nigel Roebuck, then Grand Prix editor for Autosport magazine. The sycophantic Roebuck crucified Senna in a seemingly endless stream of critical editorial none of which was based in fact. 
 
One year later those of us who saw the injustice of the previous year felt a certain sense of revenge as Ayrton drove Prost off the road at the very first corner of the 1990 title decider in Japan. The title went to Senna and Prost would be sacked by his Ferrari team less than a year later.
 
The film also offers a brief view into the way that FIA president Jean-Marie Balestre managed the sport at the time, with his close personal relationship with Prost directly influencing his harsh, usually unfair treatment of Senna.
 
My favourite memory of Ayrton Senna, though, was at a freezing cold Thruxton circuit in late 1982 where he had his first drive in a F3 car. He took pole position, set fastest lap and won the race comfortably, beating the F3 regulars with ease. Those of us who saw him there that day knew we were watching a future champion.

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