On the 20th anniversary of the death of Ayrton Senna, McLaren today releases a specially commissioned short film that commemorates Formula 1’s most enduring icon.
Filmed on location in Monte-Carlo and at the McLaren Technology Centre using the actual racecar and overalls once used by Ayrton, the film vividly recreates the great Brazilian’s most famous performance – his pole position lap at the 1988 Monaco Grand Prix.
Driving the dominant McLaren-Honda MP4/4, Ayrton qualified an astonishing 1.427 seconds clear of the rest of the field. It was a superhuman effort, a performance he later discussed with great emotion: “I was driving by instinct,” he said. “I was in a different dimension – like I was in a tunnel; well beyond my conscious understanding.”
The film also incorporates audio from that legendary interview, conducted with the great motorsport writer Gerald Donaldson.
McLaren racing director Eric Boullier commented: “It’s unbelievable to think that Ayrton left us 20 years ago. Whether you’re a lifelong Formula 1 fan, or you weren’t even born when he was racing, Ayrton Senna will always be the most iconic and legendary driver in Formula 1 history. And nothing he did has become more mythicised than his phenomenal performance in final qualifying at Monaco in 1988.
“The onboard footage of Ayrton from that era gives an incredibly vivid impression of just how intense it was back them: you really get a feel for Ayrton’s incredible commitment as he shaves corners, pushes past backmarkers and physically manhandles the steering wheel.
“This film does a fantastic job of recreating the intensity of that fast lap, but also captures Ayrton’s introspection and wisdom via snippets of audio from an unforgettable interview that really lays bare Ayrton’s state of mind on that day.”