Ayrton raced for the first time at the Italian GP – which takes place this weekend – in 1985, since in 1984 he wasn’t able to take part in the race as a Toleman driver. Ayrton’s Monza debut came with a pole position on Saturday – his fifth in the season – and a podium on Sunday, after finishing in third place, with his Lotus.
Besides Monza, Ayrton Senna also climbed on the podium after debuting at other historic F1 circuits. Take a look back:
1- Monaco – 1984
After starting in 13th place, Ayrton Senna put on a spectacle in the Monaco rain and finished the race in second. The race was suspended after 31 laps, but that was enough for Senna to overtake Niki Lauda, Michele Alboreto, Keke Rosberg and other experienced drivers. It was Ayrton’s first podium in F1.
2- Estoril – 1984
As a Toleman driver, Ayrton Senna got his best position on the starting grid at the last GP of the 1984 season. The Brazilian started in third place and finished the race in the same position. On the podium, Senna found himself in the company of Alain Prost, the winner, and Niki Lauda.
3- Spa-Francorchamps – 1985
Ayrton Senna crowned his Spa-Francorchamps debut with a very special win. He made several beautiful overtakes, beating Williams’ Nigel Mansell and his Lotus teammate, Elio de Angelis. Ayrton had started the race in second place.
4- Jerez – 1986
The Spanish GP was kept out of the F1 calendar from 1982 to 1985. When it returned, in 1986, Ayrton Senna turned his Jerez debut into a perfect weekend. He scored the pole position with his Lotus and won the race with an advantage of just 0s014 over Nigel Mansell, whose Williams crossed the finish line in second place. As if that wasn’t enough, Senna took the lead in the F1 championship for the first time in his career.
5- Hungaroring – 1986
The first F1 Hungarian Grand Prix ever took place in 1986, and Ayrton Senna secured the pole position. On Sunday, he led for a good portion of the race, with his Lotus, but ended up finishing in second. The podium was mostly Brazilian, since Nelson Piquet was the race’s winner.
6- Suzuka – 1987
After a very difficult race, Ayrton Senna started in seventh place at his Suzuka debut and finished the Grand Prix in second, driving a Lotus. Victory went to Gerhard Berger. The Austrian broke a two-year dry spell without any wins for Ferrari.
7- Interlagos – 1990
After taking place in Rio de Janeiro from 1981 to 1989, the Brazilian Grand Prix was back at Interlagos, in São Paulo, for the 1990 season. Ayrton Senna secured the pole position on Saturday and won the race on Sunday, holding a comfortable lead up until the 41st lap, when he bumped into his teammate, Satoru Nakajima. Ayrton was forced to replace his McLaren’s nose, but still managed to climb on the podium in third place.
* Senna also made it to podium when he raced for the first time at Brands Hatch (1984) and Donington Park (1993), but he had already driven in those tracks before getting to F1. Ayrton’s other top-three finishes when facing a new track took place in Mexico City (1986) and at Magny Cours (1991).