Motor Sport hosted a special evening in London on Monday as a group of our enthusiastic readers joined us for a private viewing of the stunning new Ayrton Senna film, which was released in UK cinemas last week.
We were honoured to be joined by the movie’s producer Manish Pandey and former McLaren team coordinator Jo Ramirez, the man who somehow managed to remain friends with both Senna and Alain Prost during their incendiary two years as team-mates in 1988-89.
The private viewing took place at the excellent Everyman cinema in Belsize Park, London which features large, leather armchairs rather than the standard seats you’d find in your local multiplex. After drinks and canapés, our guests parked themselves in the comfy chairs, sat back and soaked up the experience of Senna – a movie that you really have to see on a big screen. It’s stunning, as we discussed in our July issue of the magazine.
As the credits rolled, the audience showed their appreciation with a spontaneous round of applause. Then a real treat: a chance for the readers to listen to Jo and Manish discuss the film and the man, then put them on the spot with some direct questions.
Manish Pandey, Jo Ramirez, Nigel Roebuck and Rob Widdows talk Senna
Motor Sport’s Rob Widdows played host on the stage, with editor-in-chief Nigel Roebuck completing the quartet. Jo and Nigel have been good friends for years, and with their own personal experiences of Senna they offered a wider perspective on the man we’d just seen on the big screen, embellishing the themes that the film touches upon.
Manish gave us an insight into the making of the film and left the audience in no doubt that he is a true and deeply knowledgeable racing enthusiast. The movie has been a labour of love for him and he’s very close to it – but he’s not above a bit of criticism. On the much-discussed subject of how harsh the movie is to Prost, Manish was candid, admitting that he has some regrets about its portrayal of 1989. Such candour and honesty is refreshing.
It was a privilege to listen to Jo, Manish, Nigel and Rob, who kept the audience rapt before taking questions from the floor. Make sure to check out the website next week to listen to an audio recording of the Senna evening. For those of you who joined us, thank you for coming. For all of us, it was a very special occasion.