It’s 30 years since Ayrton Senna claimed his final F1 drivers’ crown. Snapshots of Senna, written by Mike Doodson for our February 2010 edition, features an intimate account – with incredible rarely seen photography – of grand prix racing’s ultimate gladiator in his early days and then at the height of his powers, revealing both steeliness and vulnerability.
Doodson first met Senna in 1983 when the Brazilian was racing for West Surrey Racing in British F3. His pursuit for an interview at a test before the ’84 F1 season eventually led him to staying at the Senna family home, the visit from which most of the pictures originate.
The next snapshotted scene is Senna in early ’86, two grand prix wins down but still indulging in his childhood passion of flying model helicopters. In the comfortable surroundings of Esher, Senna’s friend Mauricio Gugelmin, who was also present, waxes lyrical to Doodson about what makes his Brazilian countryman so good.