Sunday, December 29, 2013

Frank Williams says about Ayrton Senna "Ayrton was the most committed of all"

“Ayrton was the most committed of all. What was outstanding about him was his mental application. He had an air of invincibility around him. He put his entire body and mind into winning.” - Frank Williams

Winning was no accident for Ayrton Senna – it’s what his whole life was about right to the end. In his last Grand Prix in Imola on 1st May 1994, he was leading the field from pole position when he died.

Many of Ayrton Senna’s 41 Grand Prix victories amounted to comprehensive driving lessons that remain textbook examples of how to win at the pinnacle of motorsport. Only death stopped him challenging Alain Prost’s 51-win record and possibly putting it beyond the reach of Michael Schumacher or any other successor.

Ayrton Senna vs Michael Schumacher, Imola 1994

To win was what he desired more than anything else. That he was more successful at getting pole than he was at winning was a mystery to him, as it was to others. He once said: “You either commit yourself as a professional racing driver who is designed to win races, or you come second, third, fourth or fifth. I am not designed to come second or less. I race to win. As long as I feel it is possible. Sometimes you get it wrong, sure. It is impossible to get it right all the time. But I race to win because I am designed to win.”

And that was probably the problem – he tried too hard to win and wore out the car or went off trying when he should have held for second and possibly inherited victory. Senna’s designs on the art of winning, his detailed planning to parlay his superlative natural talent into ultimate success, were unsurpassed. Michael Schumacher has become the dominant driver of his era by emulating Senna’s pioneering pursuit of excellence. 

But prior to Senna, none of the sport’s other superstars worked as hard at winning. Sir Frank Williams only employed him for a short time but it was long enough to realise what distinguished Senna from the team’s other greatest winners, Nigel Mansell and Alain Prost.

Source: "The life of Senna" - by Tom Rubython

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