The 1993 Australian GP, which took place on November 7, wrapped up the season with great stories that would become ingrained in the memories of Formula One fans. Senna was making his final race as a McLaren driver, Prost was retiring from the category and the final duel between the two champions was scheduled to that weekend, in Adelaide.
During the qualifying sessions, Senna won his only pole position in the season with his McLaren-Ford, in a year marked by an underperforming engine, when compared to the ones powering his rivals’ Benettons and Williams. With a time of 1min13s371, Ayrton beat the Frenchman in the final moments, while Ron Dennis, his team principal, yelled on the radio, ordering the driver to go back to the pits so he wouldn’t run out of fuel. However, Senna didn’t understand Ron, and kept going fast until he won his 62nd pole position.
In the race, Senna was flawless – just like he was in his four other wins in the season: Interlagos, Donington Park, Monaco and Suzuka. The three-time champion kept the lead after the start, but lost it momentarily when he had to make a pit-stop on lap 23. After Prost’s pit-stop, five laps later, Ayrton returned to the front of the pack and stayed there for the rest of the 79 laps. The Frenchman finished in second and Briton Damon Hill was third, also driving a Williams.
On the podium, Senna made a noble gesture by raising Prost’s arm, showing to the whole world that the greatest rivalry in F1 history was coming to an end. The Frenchman had already secured his fourth title in Portugal, two races before, while Senna‘s win made him the season’s runner-up, ahead of Damon Hill. In 1994, Senna would occupy Prost’s spot at Williams, and become the Briton’s teammate.
After the race, Senna went to a concert by Singer Tina Turner, who dedicated the song “Simply the Best” to the Brazilian. Applauded by his fans, Ayrton climbed on the stage – a lot shier than when he climbed on the podium, though.
“I’m a big fan. He’s the Best”, said Tine Turner while she hugged the three-time F1 world champion, who was simply the best not just for the singer, but in the eyes of millions of fans all over the world.