On the 1st of May 1994, God died in the Tamburello corner. On that day, during the Grand Prix of San Marino on the italian circuit of Imola, Ayrton Senna da Silva, at the steering wheel of his Williams, had a technical malfunction on his car.
A piece of the steering column ploughed through his helmet, causing a fatal head injury, and minutes later one of the best Formula One drivers of history became the until today last fatality in the sport.
Yesterday, I finally found the (dutch edition) of the Michel Vaillant dossier about my youth idol. The book, a hardcover, details the life and career of Ayrton, and is spiced up by drawn pages in the particular style of the Michel Vaillant strip books.
It`s not a `heavy reading` book, but if your a Senna fan, it is definitly worth a book having as it has some unpublished pictures in it, gives an insight in his early day careers, and the drawings are just gorgeous.
One of the drawn pages for example detail what is to day still considered to be the best opening lap ever in Formula One.
During an apocalyptic rainstorm in the 1993 Grand Prix of Europa at Donnington Parc, UK, Senna, having missed his start from 4th, went of the line in 5th position behind a then still young talent, a certain Michael Schumacher, in his Benetton, the Sauber of Karl Wendlinger and the Williams`s of Damon Hill and championship leader and polesitter Alain Prost.
By the end of lap 1... Senna was in the lead!
What makes this all the more remarkable is the fact that the McLaren was perhaps the best one he had ever had his hands on during the 6 year stint at the racing stable, but was horribly underpowered as it had the client version of the Ford V8 as an engine, compared to the much stronger Renault V10 engines in the Williams`es or even the fabric version Ford V8 in the Benetton car.
Drawn the pages look like this:
and for reference, this is the real life lap:
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