This Sunday (June 9), Canada hosts another F1 race in Montreal, where Senna won twice. On June 10, 1990, when Senna won for the second time in Canada, the Brazilian football squad also had an important assignment: its debut on the FIFA Word Cup, which was taking place in Italy.
“I was never a football fanatic, but you can’t help but support the team. The World Cup moves the spirit of every Brazilian. Unfortunately, I probably won’t be able to watch the opening match”, said Senna, who was racing his 99th F1 GP.
The match took place a few minutes after Senna’s win in Montreal, rounding out a day of celebration to the Brazilian people. At the race, Senna started at the pole position and, just like it had happened the day before, the rain would be an obstacle to most drivers. Thanks to his focus, skill and a little luck, Senna was able to avoid all the cars that were spinning out and crashing while the track wasn’t 100% dry. In total, 12 out of 26 drivers ended up spinning out during the race.
Despite all that, no rival was able to threaten the win by Senna, who was well on his way to winning his second world title. The race ended with a Brazilian one-two, with Senna and Piquet on top, just moments before the Brazilian squad’s debut in the World Cup. The final score was Brazil 2, Sweden 1, with two goals scored by Careca.
The race was also Cleber Machado’s debut as TV Globo’s F1 announcer, since Galvão Bueno would be announcing the football match.
Take a look back at two other times Senna and the Brazilian squad won on the same day:
Detroit GP (06/21/1987)
After a win in Detroit in the previous year, Senna dominated the street circuit once again, this time with his yellow Lotus. The Brazilian started in second place and trailed Nigel Mansell (Williams) for 33 laps.
When the Britton stopped to change tires, Senna took the lead and stayed there. Employing a risky strategy, he took care of his tires and didn’t make a pit stop, unlike most rivals.
And in contrast to 1986, when Brazil lost to France in a penalty shoot-out in the FIFA World Cup, in 1987 the squad won a friendly match against Equador in Florianopolis (SC) by 4-1, with goals scored by Raí, Careca, Muller and Jorginho.
German GP (07/30/1989)
Just like it had happened in Detroit, Senna had also won at Hockenheim in the previous year (1988). Once again fighting for the title against Alain Prost, Ayrton secured the pole position on Saturday and started ahead of his rival and teammate. On Sunday, the Brazilian had trouble before the race due to a radiator issue, which meant the Brazilian had to use his spare car.
Nevertheless, Ayrton won after overtaking Prost three laps before the end of the race, securing his fourth win in 1989. The Brazilian squad had a much easier time winning in the football pitch. While fighting for a spot in the 1990 FIFA World Cup, the Brazilians beat Venezuela in a blowout, with two goals by Bebeto, one by Branco and another by Romário.