l remember most his person. Let’s say it this way: If I think about Ayrton I see him more in ‘private’ clothes. Well actually when I think of that I think of two girls in Imola [CHUCKLE] but this you cannot write about.
Oh yes we certainly can Haven’t you got any pictures?
No! [CHUCKLE] We didn’t take pictures!
Before you went to McLaren he was known as a very serious man and you made him more of a human being
I think that’s not true. It was part of his game. He was a real Brazilian, full of spirit, life and fun.
And you think the rest was a mask?
Yes, that was his goal: to make everybody believe there was no way around him. He wasn’t that serious.
He was when he was in the racing car.
Yes, absolutely. I was serious when I was in the racing car
Not that serious.
Not that serious. Let’s put it this way. I think he had a bigger concentration – he could concentrate better than any of the others. Once he got into the racing car he was into it so deep that there were no other things around him. He could do that more than anybody else. His ability to concentrate was just bigger.
I asked him once: OK, Berger’s done terrible things to you. What are worst things you’ve done to Berger? He gave me several examples. Then Ron Dennis said it became a great thing within the team because it kept everybody human.
The worst thing he did was to be quicker than me!
Well, the second worst thing?
Up in Queensland was a bad one. He put all my clothes in bedroom into hot water and they had all different kinds of colours when they came out. I had nothing any more to wear. He paid for it. That was the one when I paid the concierge 100 dollars to bring me the big kind of frogs they had there. Not frogs – it looks like a frog, but it weighs ﬁve kilos?
Yes, that’s what they are – lizards! I was coming back late in the night, I Was running across the golf course and suddenly i saw these bloody animals jumping around, a mass of them. You usually only see them in films! The water [sprinklers] came on and all these ******* animals were jumping around. I was afraid of them – they were big.
So I went to the concierge and said “here you have $100, ﬁnd me some of these animals. So two hours later he brought a complete sackful of them – about forty in a big sack. Terrible, terrible, terrible-looking things!
We went for dinner all together, Ron, myself, Lisa [Mrs Dennis]. I said to Lisa “go to the toilet.” We met outside. I said come and help me. So we went up to Ayrton’s room and put these animals everywhere — under the cover of the bed, inside the bed, everywhere where you couldn’t see them. After dinner Ayrton went off to sleep and then we heard this strange sound [screaming]. Everywhere he looked — an animal. Three o’clock in the morning they had to take all the furniture out of the room, everything, then carried it back in piece by piece.
The next morning he came and said you’re such an ********. It took all of us all night. I said ‘and where did you find the snake?’ He said ‘Oh ****, I didn’t find a snake!’ He didn’t go back to the room any more.
I knew he would come back at me. I tell you, his driving limits were at another level, my joking limits were at another level.
Memories of Senna – Christopher Hilton