The Formula 1 Grand Prix arrives in the United Kingdom, and fans celebrate the remarkable moments of Ayrton Senna’s career at the most traditional circuit in motorsport.

In Silverstone, Senna dazzled and showcased his driving skills even before reaching Formula 1. His first race there was on June 21, 1981, competing in the Formula Ford 1600 championship. Senna debuted on the circuit with a second-place finish after an exhilarating final lap duel with his rival Rick Morris, who overtook the Brazilian in the last few meters.

From 1982 onwards, the English circuit witnessed the rise of a motorsport legend, who became accustomed to winning and breaking record after record. His first victory came on March 28, with Senna finishing a stunning 17 seconds ahead of second-placed Colin Jack’s Reynard in a race of just 15 laps.

The origin of the nickname “Silvastone”

Still in 1982, Ayrton competed in three races at Silverstone and won them all. This marked the beginning of the famous “Silvastone” legend, a pun that the British press loved to make with the surname Silva, which the driver used in European competitions at that time.

In 1983, in Formula 3, the last step before Formula 1, the Brazilian also made history on the track: throughout the season, there were eight races and six victories; Senna also secured a second-place finish in one race and retired from only one.

Imprensa usa o termo “Silvastone” – Jornal da Tarde – 1983

The first podium in Formula 1

In Formula 1, driving for Lotus, Ayrton stood on the podium for the first time at Silverstone in the 1987 Grand Prix. The Brazilian had already achieved a podium finish in the British race in 1984, but that race was held at Brands Hatch.

In 1987, Senna secured third place on the grid with the yellow Lotus, but he had little chance of surpassing the Williams cars of Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet, who were faster throughout the weekend and battled for the victory until the final laps.

Ayrton’s race was highlighted by an exciting duel with Alain Prost, especially in the early laps. The McLaren driver started from fourth place and jumped to the lead early on, but was soon overtaken by the Williams cars and Senna before the second lap. On the fifth lap, Prost managed to overtake the Brazilian again and held the advantage over Senna until his pit stop, where he encountered problems. Ayrton regained third place and maintained his podium position until the end of the race.

Victory with Mclaren

Throughout his Formula 1 career, Senna competed in eight races at Silverstone, winning once in 1988 and achieving three podium finishes (1987, 1988, and 1990).

The English track is one of the most iconic in the category, having hosted more than 50 Grands Prix (including the first official F1 Grand Prix in history) and is considered the birthplace of British motorsport and one of the most important in the world.

Counting all of Ayrton Senna da Silva’s official races in motorsport, it was at this sacred English temple where he won the most in his career, with ten victories.