Carnival is right around the corner. Taking inspiration in the “abre-alas” (the first float of a samba-school, the one that sets the tone for everything that follows it), the official Ayrton Senna website selected six great starts and first laps by the Brazilian driver.
1- 1993 Canadian GP
In the race that followed his sixth win in Monaco, Senna went to Canada, where his McLaren’s engine would prove to be a handicap. The three-time world champions started in eighth place, but by the time the first lap was over, he was already in third.
2- 1987 Japanese GP
At the start of the 1987 Japanese Grand Prix, Senna jumped from seventh to fourth place, aboard his yellow Lotus. Michele Alboreto (Ferrari), Teo Fabi (Benetton) and Nelson Piquet (Williams) were left behind. Before the second lap was over, he was already in third, after passing Alain Prost (McLaren). The Brazilian ended up climbing on the podium in second place, to the delight of Honda’s Japanese workers.
3- 1992 Monaco GP
In the 199 Monaco Grand Prix, Senna started behind the Williams, which had a new and very effective electronic system that kept the wheels from losing grip at the start. Despite that, Senna managed to overtake Ricardo Patrese and went after Nigel Mansell. The endo of the race would be even better for the Brazilian, who passed the Britton and won the race in one of the most exciting finishes in the history of the Monaco GP.
4- 1986 Australian GP
In fourth place in the standings, Senna was the only driver who could pull an upset in the three-way fight between Piquet, Mansell (both driving Williams) and Prost (McLaren). In the race that was going decide which of them was going to walk away with the title, the Brazilian started in third and jumped ahead of both Williams to take the lead with his black Lotus.
5- 1987 Belgian GP
After a crash in the first start, drivers were ordered to go back to the grid. Senna was in third, behind both Williams (Piquet and Mansell). The Brazilian jumped ahead at the start and left both of his rivals behind.
6- 1993 European GP
The race in Donington Park shows up in almost every list of Senna’s greatest hits. In the greatest first lap of all time, Senna started in fourth, in the rain, and fell to fifth before the first corner. But he made a recovery and took the lead by the end of the lap, overtaking Michael Schumacher, Alain Prost, Damon Hill and Karl Wendlinger. If he was a samba-school, this parade would get a perfect score.