Ayrton Senna holds Brazilian flag on the podium in 1993 Donington European GP

1993 European Grand Prix

There have been some opportunist moves in Formula One over the years – Jacky Ickx passing Niki Lauda round the outside at Paddock Bend in the 1974 Race of Champions, or Nigel Mansell diving past Ayrton Senna up the hill in Hungary in 1989 – spring immediately to mind but few have equalled the audacity shown by Ayrton Senna in the opening lap of the Grand Prix of Europe.

“There is no long straight here and passing is difficult. Because of this there may be some controversy on overtaking,” he had said the previous day, as he faced a start from fourth position, nearly two seconds adrift of the Williams-Renaults on the front row and a shade slower than Michael Schumacher’s Benetton. The cynics among us had taken note as no doubt Senna’s rivals were meant to and we interpreted that to mean ‘Move over, because I’m coming through whether you do or not’. We expected the worst.

Alain Prost leads at the start as Ayrton Senna carves his way through the field

Race Results

Qualifying

Circuit - Donington Park

Country

Britain

Location

Castle Donington, Leicestershire

Type

Permanent road course

Length

2.4873 (Miles)

Record

Ayrton Senna (McLaren MP4/8-Ford), 1m18.029, 115.331 mph, F1, 1993 (set on a lap through the pitlane)

3,404

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