I watched with more than a trace of sadness the debacle at the Japanese Grand Prix, which resulted in perhaps themost boring motor race I have seen in years.
Having, along with DSJ, felt for a long time that Senna was THE man to watch in any Grand Prix, I have now begun to harbour rather more than slight suspicions about his driving techniques
As DSJ mentioned in his recent profile of Senna, he is undoubtedly the brightest driver on the GP scene. His abilities are well documented, and there is no question that his car control and fast-thinking leave him streets ahead of the opposition. Indeed his ability to put in successive laps within hundredths of a second of each other is proof positive that he has the ability to place his car within inches of an identical line, lap after lap.
All the more reason that his accident with Prost within a few hundred of the start line somehow fails to ring true. If one looks back at the 3 or 4 simillar incidentsin which Senna has been involved, including an almost exact replica last year, one begins to feel that the word accident is being misused. Following the race I spoke to one or two contacts I have in the stunt driving field, and we all concluded that given the behaviour of a car at the limit in a corner, the effect of placing a front wheel quite gently, just to the rear of centre of an adjacent car would have the effect of sending the adjacent car off in a spin, in all probability leaving the ‘attacking’ car on the track. A simple manoeuvre for a skilled driver.
Now far be it from me to say that Senna engineered this accident deliberately but I feel that a close examination of the relevant video tapes would show that in each case the front wheel of Senna’s car was within a couple of inches of that vital spot each time.
So one must conclude that either there was more to the situation than a mere accident, or that Senna is losing his judgement. I leave your readers to draw their own conclusions.
Perhaps the old adage that ‘To finish first, one first has to finish’, should be rewritten as as `To finish first one first has to punt the opposition off the track’.
I think that in future I shall stick to VSCC races. The protagonists may be older and slower, but their judgement seems infinitely better.