Punch & Eddie

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Motor Sport

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Sir,

I am appalled by the reported attitude of Ayrton Senna following the Japanese GP.

I watched the race live, via satellite TV. Despite having to crawl out of bed before 4am, I found I was soon wide awake, thanks largely to the spirited efforts of Eddie Irvine. He was racing, actually trying to make his Jordan go faster than it wished to go, and it was a joy to watch. All Senna’s bleating about irresponsible, unprofessional driving makes me laugh. He had a huge lead when he came across the Irvine/Hill scrap. Surely, as a professional driver, he should have had the nous to back off for a couple of laps, to let the other two sort it out amongst themselves without getting involved? In his position, there was no particular need to hurry. I read somewhere that he said the other two cars were hitting each other, spinning off and that he had to go off the track to avoid them. What utter nonsense! Who is he trying to kid, apart from himself?

It was entertaining motor racing between two of Formula One’s newer recruits. Hard, certainly, but always fair.

The presence of that famous yellow helmet in a racing driver’s mirrors should be no grounds for submission, especially when, as in the cases of Hill and Irvine, they were travelling at pretty much the same pace. If Senna wants to pass people, he should be prepared to fight where necessary.

All of this was bad enough without the post-race punch. I know that racing drivers have always agreed to disagree, and that there were contentious issues even back in the days upon which we now look as having been ‘golden’, but resorting to pugilism is simply out of order.

My sincere, if unrealistic, wish is that the FIA should suspend Senna for a whole season. This would achieve two things. Firstly, it would freshen the paddock ambience; secondly, it would make for a more open contest in the 1994 World Championship.

Great driver as he undoubtedly is, Ayrton Senna has revealed too many character flaws for my liking. He simply can not be allowed to carry on running around F1 as though he owned it.

Christian Davies, Sevenoaks, Kent.

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