On this International Friendship Day (July 20), we’ve selected a few curious stories featuring Ayrton Senna. They aren’t just about the driver who raced in the most famous raceways in the world, but also about those who knew the three-time champion outside the tracks.
Dr. Álvaro de Queiroz and Tchê
Back in his go-kart days, Álvaro de Queiroz raced alongside Senna and also had Tchê as his go-kart tuner. This means he’s got a lot of stories to tell about the driver at the Interlagos Go-Kart Racetrack, where the three-time champion first made an impression on the motor sports world. (subtitles in English)
The TV commentator responsible for broadcasting the largest number of F1 races to the Brazilian audience was a close friend of Senna’s, and has always made sure to highlight the driver’s human side to the public. Take a look at some of Galvão Bueno’s fondest memories in an interview to Rede Globo’s Esporte Espetacular. (only in portuguese)
Peter Warr (former Lotus pincipal), manager Julian Jakobi and Leonardo Senna
This video, featuring very dissimilar group of characters, sheds a light on several aspects of Ayrton Senna’s personality. He was a very fun, humble and religious person, who was always there for his friends.
Perhaps his best friend on the Formula 1 circuit was the Austrian Gerhard Berger, whom Ayrton Senna raced with on the McLaren team for 3 years – 1990, 1991 and 1992. Together they featured in some great tales.
“In Port Douglas, in Australia, Ayrton Senna found his room full of toads; toads in the bed, toads in the dresser drawers, toads in all the pockets of his clothes. ‘You’re a twit’, he told me the next morning. ‘I spent half the night catching toads and putting them outside’.
‘And what about the snake?’, I asked.
He didn’t sleep well for the next two nights.”