Among all of the Formula 1 greats, there are none that come close to Ayrton Senna when it comes to qualifying performance. If you’ve never seen the Brazilian master absolutely slam down a single lap run, this is probably as good a place as any to get your first experience of his genius.
Video: Yet more evidence that Ayrton Senna was a qualifying genius
The Brands Hatch circuit was always a great one for highlighting just how fast F1 cars are, the narrow and enclosed feel of the course made these enormous turbocharged monsters of the mid-1980s look utterly terrifying.
Delivering somewhere in the region of 1,500PS (1,100kW) Senna is already squirming out of Clark Curves as he sets up to begin his qualifying effort, Renault engine absolutely roaring. You get the full repertoire of Senna skills here, the blipping of the throttle as he spools up the turbo through the apex of corners, to the incredible speed he carries through Hawthorns, Westfield and Sheene Curve.
The fact he does all of this while somehow managing a manual gearshift, and perfectly controlling that outrageous engine power, is pure wizardry. On this occasion, he didn’t set pole position, but with a record that sees him still sit third on the all-time list of pole position holders in F1, his qualifying prowess is without question. His legend will remain for the rest of time.
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