MAY 01st 2015

Video: Flat‑Out and Fearless ‑ Senna's first Grand Prix win

This year’s Festival of Speed theme of Flat Out and Fearless: Racing on the Edge is easily summed up by the late Ayrton Senna. So many are the Brazilian’s storied achievements

Fastest_lap_Promo We’ve already looked at one of his very finest moments from Donington Park in 1993, but today we’ve decided to share one of his less-famous (but highly significant) Grand Prix wins; his first, at Estoril in 1985. It was also his first pole position. He was to bag six more that year.

The subtext is fascinating. Going into the race the McLaren MP4/2B had been on imperious form, winning the opening round in Brazil and the final seven rounds of the previous season (in ‘A’ specification). Senna was driving in only his second Grand Prix for Lotus having replaced Nigel Mansell, of whom Team Manager Peter Warr famously (and inaccurately) said would  ‘never win a Grand Prix as long as I have a hole in my ****’ and Alain Prost was considered by most observers at the time to be the best driver. Oh and it is also understood that prior to Estoril the Lotus 97T, which will appear at this year’s Festival, had not been tested in the wet, which is precisely what Estoril was on April 21st, 1985. Almost thirty years to the day …

Here the great man himself talks us through the race highlights, which we’ll leave for you to see yourselves. Just bear in mind that going in to this race Prost in the McLaren was nothing short of a formidable opponent and that this was Senna’s second race for Team Lotus

‘The champagne had a special taste that day…’ he said. I wonder how much more he thought he be drinking as he stood on the top step of the podium?

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