Detractors will tell you every Formula One race is the same: a bunch of overpaid, glorified cab drivers posing as athletes sit in cars that have nothing to do with the ones we see and drive on the road and proceed to drive around in circles. Of course racing fans know different. We know that no two grands prix are the same. But even then, some stand out more than others.

Take the 1993 European Grand Prix, for example. It was the only time an F1 race was ever held at Donington Park, and on April 14 it was pouring. Ayrton Senna had already won his three world championships and was now in his sixth season with McLaren. He qualified fourth, behind Alain Prost and Damon Hill for Williams and Michael Schumacher for Benetton. But once the race got underway, all bets were off.

Off the line he was passed by Karl Wendlinger in the Sauber, but then proceeded to pass Schumacher, retake Wendlinger, overtake Hill for second and take the lead from his arch-rival (and former team-mate) Prost, all on the first lap. It was a command performance in the wettest of weather that saw Senna finish nearly a full lap ahead of Damon Hill in second, and will go down in history as one of the most breathtaking opening laps in racing history – and serves as a fitting remembrance today, the 20th anniversary of Senna's death. McLaren has it all broken down in the tidy infographic below.
1993 European Grand Prix [infographic] #RememberSenna
Source: McLaren.com


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 9 Comments
      Hajime1990 #follow
      • 7 Months Ago
      id love to see the same analysis for the 1992 monaco grand prix, where senna and mansell battled the "greatest final 3 laps in f1 history" ...
      Shahul X
      • 7 Months Ago
      Peter windsor just posted a set of videos on the Senna crash and the real reasons on youtube... and pole position did a interview with Frank Williams... great videos in remembrance
      mrmenna
      • 7 Months Ago
      I'm searching for the video of this race. Goosebumps on May day.
        EZen
        • 7 Months Ago
        @mrmenna
        Same. I've seen it 10 times but I just watched it again and got goosebumps.
      Joe
      • 7 Months Ago
      Senna did a lot of great drives, but he had a very nasty, dangerous, and destructive habit. When he came up on a competitor that he couldn't pass cleanly he would dive to the inside entering a turn and, even though he was clearly not in a position to contest the lead he'd hit the back of the competitor's car as the competitor followed the racing line into the turn expecting Senna to yield and back off as any reasonable driver should. As a result, Senna would knock both cars off of the track. Watch the documentary Senna on television sometime. You'll see him do it a couple times.
      carguy1701
      • 7 Months Ago
      Senna never considered the opening lap at Donington Park to be his greatest drive ever (he was always laugh it off, saying that it was relatively easy thanks to the traction control). He considered a race in 1985 (possibly his first F1 win, I do not recall for sure) to be his greatest drive ever. That said, Donington 1993 still ranks as one of his best drives, and definitely among the best opening laps ever driven in any series, ever.
      Pj Taintz
      • 7 Months Ago
      Detractors will tell you every Formula One race is the same: a bunch of overpaid, glorified cab drivers posing as athletes sit in cars that have nothing to do with the ones we see and drive on the road and proceed to drive around in circles. Of course racing fans know different. woah, you are talking about F1 like you generally talk about nascar! interesting.....
      Gary Wells
      • 7 Months Ago
      Great, great driver and cool as a cucumber!!!