Ayrton Senna brought a lot of joy to Brazilian fans throughout his Formula One career and, to celebrate the International Day of Joy on this July 8, we’ve selected some of the most joyous moments for the three-time champion and his fans after his greatest achievements in the main category in the world of motor sports.
1- The crowd storms the track to celebrate at Interlagos – 1993
Senna’s win at the 1993 Brazilian GP was made even more special when the Brazilian audience stormed Interlagos’ opposite straight. Ayrton stopped his McLaren and celebrated among his fans. Right after that, the driver was taken by the safety-car, but he sat on the car’s window and kept on waving to the crowd until he arrived at his pit-garage, before stepping on the podium.
2- His first win in F1
Thanks to Ayrton Senna’s first win, the 1985 Portugal Grand Prix went down in F1 history. On Saturday, the Brazilian had already scored his first pole position. To make it a perfect weekend, Senna won from start to finish under a deluge at the Estoril racetrack. After crossing the finish line, the Brazilian unbuckled his seatbelt and raised both arms in a gesture of extreme joy.
3- Celebrating his third title
In 1991, Ayrton Senna won his third world title with a McLaren one-two with Gerhard Berger in Suzuka, Japan. Upon his return to Brazil, the driver received a ticker tape parade, being driven around São Paulo in a BMW and standing up through the sunroof so his fans could cheer him.
4- The 1993 European GP
In a perfect race at Donington Park, Senna did what many consider the best first lap ever by passing for rivals, including Prost (Williams) and Schumacher (Benetton), and taking the lead. He also won the race after lapping the driver who finished in third – also Prost. On the podium, Ayrton celebrated a lot with the Brazilian flag and received a big round of applause.
5- End of the “curse” in Brazil
Senna’s first win in Brazil had its 25th anniversary on last March 25. After fighting for a triumph for several times, in 1991 the Brazilian was finally able to bring joy to the fans who attended the race in his own country. Due to gearbox issues, the McLaren driver had only the sixth gear by the end of the race, and had to get medical help as soon as the race was over, because of his physical exhaustion. He felt a mix of pain and extreme happiness – a feeling shared by the crowd and even the race’s marshals, who also celebrated his win.