Senna: The Champion Tribute

Here we are. The first day of Spring, also the memorable date of the birth of a Champion. Ayrton Senna would have turned 60 this year. Sadly life decided that another story took place in this day of May 1994.

I decided to do this post this late morning, while reading as usual some articles and opening my Senna books at home.

I thought it was the thing to do. So as bonus post for today, here is my tribute to the 3 times Formula One World Champion (1988, 1990 and 1991).

I don’t own as many Senna’s cars as I want to, but I own some interesting Kyosho models, that represent quite well all the eras and manufacturers the idol did drive. I love having his very first F1, a Toleman, but in 1/43 scale made by Minichamps.

Chronologically, my 1:64 representation starts with the Lotus era, and the Lotus 97T of 1985.

This Kyosho version is very nice and from the Kyosho Lotus Formula Minicar Collection (which was sold in Japan and through Team Lotus Classic Webshop). It is though a little false as the wheels should be more detailed, and gold.

Luckily, I own a Lotus 97T from the Ayrton Senna Kyosho Collection, which is very much detailed, as you can see the wheels are more accurate, and the driver is represented with the famous yellow helmet. Also, the tires are nicely done in rain version. I believe this version represents the 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix which took place in heavy rain. Ayrton was known to be a king under the rain.

Then there is the Lotus 98T, an evolution of 1986. I own, still luckily enough, the chase version of the set. The difference with the standard version is the replacement of the inscription “Team Lotus Special” (which replaces John Player Special as you might guess, because of tobacco sponsors laws…) by gold bay leafs, and still the Renault inscription for the engine origin. It is a test version.

Then the drama for Lotus lovers happened, as it turned yellow, with Camel sponsor of course missing on the replicas from Kyosho.

Ayrton drove a Lotus 99T in 1987. I think the yellow era was not that bad aesthetically but Lotus began to be not that competitive.

We move forward to the McLaren era, which was obviously the golden age of Formula One, where the most famous battles took place, with 4 times Champion Alain Prost.

I do only own one replica of Senna’s McLaren MP4/5B, by Microchamps, very nicely done with the replica of the man himself and a very detailed helmet. I cannot say enough how Formula One were in these 1990’s pure works of art. The design was so pure, lines so simple but so beautiful.

There again, Marlboro sponsor should be on the car. Honda did provide the engine.

After many years of success, 3 world titles, Senna moved to Williams F1 Team, which was at the time the best team of the line-up. They were 1992 and 1993 world champion.

And then what happened did happen, and I’m not sure to like or not this minicar from my collection, made by Aoshima 1:64 (Williams Formula One collection), the FW16 San Marino Grand Prix.

Destiny made this Williams FW16 be the last car of Ayrton.

As a Formula One aficionado, I can’t obviously remain unmoved by the story of this incredible and complex driver, which I personally believe was one of the best drivers the planet ever had. What I recall is, more than a very incredible gifted driver, the faith he had in himself and his driving.

I recently attended a conference through my work where a sociologist explained that everybody possesses various kinds of intelligence, up to 10. Senna was known to be one of the rare people to get 10 out of 10.

Happy birthday Champ.

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