Sunday, March 23, 2014

The eternal dispute between fans of Ayrton Senna and Nelson Piquet

Ayrton Senna and Nelson Piquet . The eternal dispute between ' sennistas ' and ' piquetistas ' on a dispute that has not occurred. There will be 20 years since the death of Ayrton Senna and 27 years since Nelson Piquet won his third world championship. But talking about one in a conversation, opens as a door for someone just to say the name of the other. Exactly the same thing happened when Senna began to emerge. There is an eternal comparison. Natural when great champions are put side by side . That goes for football , when asked Pele or Garrincha , or basketball with Jordan and Magic Johnson . So far, ok .

But under the names of Piquet and Senna more than that: an insane war between their fans . Today is actually the minority who have them both like idols . It seems to be something in life to have to choose between being " sennista " or " piquetista " . It makes little sense , but is explained . First, it is fine to say, Senna and Piquet never really dueled on the tracks. They are from different generations . They crossed at the beginning and at the end of another's career. There were no accidents or any disagreement between them due to competition. Perhaps this explains why an understanding in a debate cannot be reached when people discuss the talent of each one of them. 

They weren't competitors. They were, on the other hand, enemies. 

Six years after the apex of the bad atmosphere between them , Senna died . Piquet did not go to the funeral. This could've been interpretated as disrespectful , but Piquet stated that he did not go because it would be "demagoguery". He said he was not a friend and that he would not do like Prost , who was at the funeral even though blasting Senna so many times in the past . Fact is that his absence fueled discussions about the hatred between the two .

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The day Ayrton Senna drove an Indy car with Emerson Fittipaldi in the USA

We heard and read several stories about this very special day, but it seems no one has talked to the man who was the track engineer that day.
 recently talked with former Penske Racing engineer, Nigel Beresford, about the test drive aboard a Penske Indy Car that three-time Formula 1 World Champion, Ayrton Senna, had some 20 years ago.

“People say you should not meet your heroes, but heroes I've met such as Ayrton Senna, Rick Mears and Roger Penske, never disappointed me. Senna did not disappoint me at any level. He was just amazingly quick,” remembered Nigel Beresford, from his home in the UK.

“My opinion is that Senna was extraordinarily charismatic and enigmatic, and seemed to be capable of raising his performance to a level far beyond the reach of other F1 drivers; most particularly in qualifying,” Beresford told us. 

Senna had just ended the 1992 season with McLaren and was pondering his options. Beresford had just left Tyrrell one year before, after three seasons in F1, to join Penske Racing in the U.S. 

“We were out to test the new Penske PC22 for three days -- one at Firebird West, a 1.1-mile road course, which really is a Mickey Mouse place -- followed by two days on Phoenix International Raceway's oval. We also had a 1992 Penske to use as a comparison car and as a baseline,” Beresford explained.

A few days before the test, an agreement was reached through Emerson Fittipaldi for Senna to drive the '92 car. “It was a last-minute deal,” Beresford confirmed.

“When Senna arrived, he was alone with John Hogan of Marlboro. It was quite a stunning contrast between the grandeur of the Australian F1 GP at Adelaide and the very basic, Mickey Mouse, kart-like track in the middle of nowhere just outside Phoenix. To see someone like him in such an ordinary place a year later still seemed surreal,” the engineer added.

“Emerson drove the '92 car first; it was pretty cold and the track was very slippery. He had a little spin in the cold tires, but eventually found the car pretty well balanced and just lacking overall grip. He did not push hard at all. He locked up one front tire at one point. He came in, and we changed tires, and adjusted the brake balance a bit more towards the rear. Emmo completed a 12-lap run and a 13-lap run, setting a best time of 49.70 seconds twice,” Beresford told

After a short break, Senna slid into the narrow cockpit of the Penske car. 

“Normally, F1 drivers get at pace immediately. Ayrton started doing some pretty slow laps initially, and that was a surprise. This car had a sequential gearbox and Senna had to get used to manipulating a gear shifter again as the F1 McLaren was fitted with paddles. On occasion, he would lose his way through the gears. He would stop completely, select first gear and then go again,” Beresford explained.

The three-time World Champion also had to get used to driving a car with a clutch pedal, a turbo engine and iron brakes. 

After an initial 14 laps, he returned to the pits. 

“He said the engine was very driveable, and found the car pretty heavy -- not as nimble as a much lighter Formula 1 car -- and added he did not know the revs he was pulling because the engine sounded so different. 

“Firebird has one moderately quick corner, and Senna was just starting to push the car through that corner. He could feel the weight of the car. He did not want to push it to the limit. It was not the place nor the time to do it. He wanted to see the sensitivity of the car. So we put softer springs on the car and disconnected the rear anti-roll bar” Berfesford explained.

Senna did another 10-lap run on the same set of tires, and set a best time in 49.09 seconds. 

“He came back into the pits and said: 'Thank you very much, I've learned what I need to know.' Then he got out of the car and that was that.” 

He asked Beresford what did he mean by that. “I think he wanted to understand how different the Indy cars were from F1 cars, nothing more,” Berfesford replied.

“Fittipaldi's best lap was a 49.70 compared to Senna's 49.09. At the end of the day, Emerson did a 48.5 in the new car, and that was just 0.6 second quicker than Senna. That was very good considering Ayrton was driving a year-old car on old tires. To me that indicated just how extraordinarily quickly he was able to adapt and approach competitive times when measured against a known, very high standard in Emerson Fittipaldi,” Beresford concluded.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Photos Ayrton Senna and girlfriend

Photos of Ayrton Senna and his girlfirend, Xuxa, a very famous Brazilian TV presenter. She was the greatest love in Senna's life and their relationship lasted from 1988 when they met at Christmas, until 1992. She was present at his funeral in Sao Paulo, on May 5th 1994. 

Blog in English about Ayrton Senna da Silva's history, biography, facts, pictures, videos, Formula 1, McLaren, Williams, Lotus, Toleman, Renault, Honda, Japan, Suzuka, Imola, San Marino, Xuxa, Adriane Galisteu, Carol Alt, Viviane Senna, Cristine Ferraciu, Liliane de Vasconcellos, Alain Prost, Nelson Piquet, Gerhard Berger, Bernie Ecclestone, F1, race, circuit, pole position, fastest lap, Michael Schumacher, Benetton, Ferrari, Mika Hakkinen, pilot, Brazil, Sao Paulo, death, accident, funeral, Morumbi, Italy, Adrian Newey, Frank Williams, Ron Dennis, Alfredo Popescu, Bruno Senna, Bianca Senna, Angra dos Reis, Quinta do Lago, Portugal, Senna Vive, Senna Lives On, Forever Ayrton, Damon Hill

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