A young Ayrton Senna arrived in Formula 1 in 1984, the year he made his debut in the category after featuring in karting and single-seater competitions in Europe. Even racing on a modest F1 grid team, Toleman, Senna already had a debut season that drew the attention of the whole world.
His first point came in Kyalami, South Africa, on April 7th, 1984, a date that turns 37 years old this Wednesday. Only in the second GP of the season, the Brazilian was sixth, the same position in which he finished the next race in Zolder, Belgium – they were the first two of the 614 points conquered by Senna in Formula 1.
That same year, Ayrton would still score in three other races: Monaco, Brands Hatch and Portugal. And it would be right on the stage where he won the most in his F1 career that Senna would also conquer his first podium and take his name to the ears of all motorsport.
With six career wins in Monaco, the Brazilian competed in his first race in Monte Carlo on June 3rd and started from 13th on the grid. Under heavy rain in the Principality, Ayrton put on a show and overtook car after car, reaching a second position that just did not become a first due to the early closure of the race due to the conditions of the track.
Senna’s second podium in F1 also came in 1984: Ayrton was third in Brands Hatch, in England, where the Brazilian had already won in other categories.
“On the podium, the Brands Hatch audience, used to Ayrton’s victories in other categories, gave him more applause than Niki Lauda himself. And also who had the biggest party was Ayrton, throwing champagne around ”, described Reginaldo Leme, a journalist at TV Globo, in the broadcast of the British GP.
To close his debut year in F1, Senna got yet another podium at Estoril, in Portugal. The Brazilian was third and shared the podium with two other big names in the world of motorsport, Niki Lauda and Alain Prost, who won the race but lost the championship to the Austrian by just half a point.
At the end of the season, which ended in that race in Portugal, Senna would start in 1985 the contract with Lotus, his first top team in F1. It would be precisely with Lotus that the Brazilian would win his first race in the category – in Estoril, under rain.
The total points won in these five races in which Senna scored in 1984 was 13, just the beginning of a trajectory of achievements in F1 with 41 victories, 65 poles, 80 podiums and three world titles.