A three-time Formula One champion, Ayrton Senna won 41 races in F1, the top category in the world of motor sports. However, the number of victories by the Brazilian driver in other categories is not that well known by the public at large.
With that in mind, the official Ayrton Senna website has tallied up the exact number of wins by Senna after he left karting. Taking into account his stints in Formula Ford (1600 and 2000), F3 and other promotional races, Senna won 50 times outside of Formula One, for a total of 91 triumphs in motor racing.
Two years before entering F1, Senna had his most winning season ever in motor sports. In 1982, the Brazilian won 24 times – 22 of them in the Formula Ford 2000 regular season. The races were part of the British and the European championships, both of then won by Senna. He secured the European title on September 22, in Denmark, before the end of the season.
Besides those victories, we’ve found a promotional British F3 race – which means that Senna won an F3 race even before he officially joined the category in the following year. And Senna won another promotional race in 1982: the Race for Celebrities, when he drove a Talbot Sunbeam, a GT car, back then. The contest took place at Oulton Park, on a weekend Senna had an F-Ford race at the same track.
AS 22-year old, Senna finished 1982 with mind-boggling numbers in Formula Ford 2000: 22 wins, 18 pole positions, 22 fastest laps and 516 points in 28 races.
Senna’s spectacular season made several Formula One teams start paying attention to the young driver. Still, Senna kept his feet on the ground and followed the traditional path, signing with an F3 team for the 1983 championship – which he ended up winning, paving his way to Formula One once and for all.
In F1, Senna’s most winning year was 1988, when he triumphed in 8 out of 16 races, and became world champion for the first time.
Take a look at Senna’s wins by category:
Formula One: 41 wins (1985 – 1993)
Formula 3: 12 wins (1983)
FF2000: 22 wins (1982)
FF1600: 12 wins (1981)
Other races: Super Sunbeam for Celebrities (1982), Thruxton F3 GP (1982)*, Macau F3 GP(1983)*, Mercedez-Benz Cup Champions’ Race (1984)